We recently reported on the March 31 oil spill in Mayflower, Arkansas, that dumped tens of thousands of gallons of heavy crude and threatened nearby water sources. The situation has been made worse by a significant storm that has been battering the Midwest and South, bringing hail, lightning and tornados. CNN reports that 33 homes and one business were destroyed, according to Tommy Jackson of the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management. Overturned and damaged cars were scattered along highways and roads.
According to THV11, an Arkansas CBS-affiliate, clean-up workers had anticipated the severe weather and were preparing spill areas for the possibility of further contamination. Crews laid sandbags and more absorbent oil booms around areas that had already been cleaned to prevent recontamination.
However, it appears these efforts may not have been enough to prevent oil from reaching nearby Lake Conway. Treehugger.com, an environmental and green living news site, has received reports that oil from the spill has contaminated the body of water, despite previous assurances that this was not a potential danger from ExxonMobil, the owner of the pipeline from which the oil originated. Videos and photos uploaded by citizen journalists from the Tar Sands Blockade show evidence that oil from the spill has spread as a result of storm runoff.
The Arkansas spill reinforces the point that consumers and businesses should continue to explore potential sources of renewable energy and alternatives to fossil fuels. Despite the heroic efforts of clean-up workers and environmentalists, there is very little that can be done to prevent severe weather from hampering their work. The only true solution to this problem is to reduce our reliance on crude oil by switching to green products that have a minimal environmental impact and are manufactured using sustainable processes. LifeIsGreen.com will continue to monitor the situation in Arkansas and keep you updated on the latest developments.