Residents Move Back Into Arkansas Subdivision After Spill

September 15, 2014

People are starting to move back into the part of an Arkansas subdivision evacuated last year after a 2013 pipeline accident.

About 22 of 63 homes in the Northwoods subdivision of Mayflower were evacuated after ExxonMobil’s Pegasus pipeline ruptured last year, spilling about 210,000 gallons of oil in the neighborhood 30 miles northwest of Little Rock, the Log Cabin Democrat reported.

A handful of residents have returned while others have decided to participate in a program that allows them to sell their homes to ExxonMobil at market price. ExxonMobil says four homes have been sold and five others are for sale. The company is working on placing more homes on the market.

Bill and Virginia Ausbrooks of Mayflower were the first ones to move in earlier this summer. They didn’t have to move because of the spill, but the April 27 tornado wiped out the home they had shared for 57 years. They said they are thrilled to have a home again.

“We’re just blessed,” Virginia Ausbrooks said. “It’s a wonderful neighborhood. The neighbors are wonderful. It’s so peaceful and quiet.”

They were particularly glad to be able to stay in their hometown, and their new home is quieter than their old one, which was near the highway.

“We’re still in Mayflower, but we’re on the other side of the tracks. (Friends) tease me about it,” Virginia Ausbrooks said.

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