Lake Cleanup Tedious Chore After Massive Pier 51 Fire

Wednesday, March 30th 2016, 6:33 pm
By: News On 6

Some boat owners are anxious to get their damaged boats out of the water after the large fire at Pier 51 Marina on Keystone Lake.

One viewer told us Pier 51 owners aren’t allowing it.

But there’s an explanation.

Environmental specialists say that even when the crews leave for the day, the clean up work continues. The white and orange booms white and orange booms help isolate the debris and soak up the oil.

Burned boats and oil are still floating on top of Keystone Lake, a few others sit at the bottom of it.

Each one adds more pollution and debris. But environmental clean-up crews are doing something about it.

"At this point in time in the clean up, our No. 1 priority is protecting the environment, the lake and the recreation we all love,” Keystone Lake Project Manager Travis Miller said.

Since the fire, Pier 51 owners say some anxious boaters have hired some of their own crews to pick up their boats.

But Miller says they can't do that.

"We can't allow just anyone to come in and go retrieve their boats right away,” Miller said. “It has to be a coordinated effort, otherwise the things we've done to this point is no good."

To protect the environment, Miller says a project like this must be left to specialized crews and equipment -- starting with the orange and white booms.

"One was a containment boom that basically traps everything there,” Miller said. “The other types were floating absorbent boom, so whenever the oil that's floating on top hits those booms, it goes ahead and absorbs into the booms."

As the boats are dragged to shore, the booms follow to capture the oil and debris.

It's a time-consuming job, best left to the professionals.

Environmental specialists say Wednesday’s heavy rain does make the clean-up process more difficult, but they are carrying on until the job is done.

3/30/2016 Related Story: Losing Boat In Fire Won't Keep Oklahoma Woman Away From Lake