Residents Express Flooding Frustrations

Thursday, July 5th 2007, 8:29 pm
By: News On 6

While the flood waters are going down, the tempers of many Coffeyville residents are rising. Hundreds filled a town hall meeting Thursday afternoon, where things got pretty heated. One woman's outburst led to her being removed from the meeting in restraints. The News On 6’s Ashli Sims reports she was the only one arrested, but many in the crowd seemed to share her frustrations.

The packed town hall meeting that started with a prayer and a show of solidarity was interrupted by an angry citizen. Even as she was being restrained, the woman screamed about contamination, and many in the crowd applauded.

And one lifelong Coffeyville resident shares the woman’s concerns.

"Oh my, like you see on the street. It's all up the wall. It’s gray. I mean slick, oil, nothing but oil,” said Ludea Sanders.

About 42,000 gallons of crude oil was spilled from the Coffeyville Resources Refinery, when it flooded on Sunday. The water has now receded, but the oil still stains the streets and the questions keep bubbling up.

"Why don't they tell us what happened? We know the flood waters. We need an explanation of the oil,” said resident Anitris Fullard.

"We were just granted access to our house,” said resident Shirl Marion. “I want to know is it safe for us to be living there?"

City leaders say they're working with the Environmental Protection Agency to make sure everyone is safe. They say they're testing each home for hazardous materials, before allowing residents back into the neighborhood.

Some roads are still closed. And while folks like the Sanders are picking through their belongings trying to check for damage, others can't even get down their streets, which has some worried about looters.

"And all they're doing is down there trying to take what people have left so they won't have nothing, and that's not right,” said resident Leona White.

Ludea Sanders says the oil has already taken it all. A representative from the refinery pledged support.

"And I just like to say, Mr. Mayor, City of Coffeyville, fellow citizens, we're here to help,” said Keith Osborn of Coffeyville Resources Refinery. “And we will get through this together. And we will rebuild our community, our businesses, and our lives."

The Coffeyville Resources Refinery is setting up a claims center in Coffeyville. They also have a toll free number you can call 24 hours a day 7 days a week. That number is 800-958-5380.

They say if you don't have an attorney, they will send an adjuster to your property to assess oil damage.

Watch the video: Flood Victims Want Answers

For more flooding information, check out our STORM ZONE web page.