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Oil Clean Up Progressing
Friday, February 19th, I was given an “up close and personal” tour of the Okatoma Creek area and the clean up of the oil spill.
Teams are on the ground walking the creek bank to find any area that has oil. Because the creek had over flowed the banks, the oil was carried into the wooden area. The EPA crew was working in the creek, on the river bank, and into the woods.
Sam Maddox (land owner), along with the Chanel 16 crew, the head of the EPA clean up, and myself were driven into the woods and creek bank area in a “mule” type 4-wheel drive vehicle. I’m just saying, we went through some mud! This city girl isn’t a big “woods” person…but the land was truly beautiful down in and around the creek. After seeing the Okatoma up close, I appreciated even more the effort being made to extract the oil from the creek. Okatoma Creek is a treasure worth keeping…at all cost.
Trucks with a long vacuum type hose were used to “pull” oil off the top of the water. If “oil pulling” didn’t work, men in boats were floating the river and placing heavy cotton-looking pads that soaked up the oil. I watched as pads were placed in the creek and seeing those pads turn a deep rust color was amazing.
From all accounts, the clean up is going well and should be complete in a few days. The oil seemed to be contained in a small area. Sam explained that the creek when over flowing could cover from 300-600 acres.
Sam praised the clean up crews for the effort made to take care of the problem and in working with local landowners. Sam Maddox, Jimmy Mangum, Lonnie Wood, Lance Pearson, and Mitchell Maddox own the majority of the land affected. (I could have missed someone!)
Check out the videos…they are short…and you’ll get the real picture of what is happening on the Okatoma.