Kan. town contaminated after oil spill

July 4, 2007 at 3:03 PM
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COFFEYVILLE, Kan., July 4 (UPI) -- An inspection of Coffeyville, Kan., areas affected by flooding and an oil spill has found some residences are not yet safe to enter.

The inspection -- which was carried out to locate residents or pets left behind during evacuations -- uncovered a great deal of damage and contamination from the floodwaters and oil spilled from the Coffeyville Resources refinery when it was hit by rising waters during the weekend, The Wichita Eagle reported Wednesday.

However, federal and state officials said an accurate assessment of the damage caused by the 42,000-gallon oil spill will not be available until after a tour of the flooded areas Thursday by Federal Emergency Management Agency officials and U.S. Sens. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., and Pat Roberts, R-Kan.

"Honestly, it's pretty large," Beckie Himes, an Environmental Protection Agency spokeswoman in Kansas City, Kan., said of the oil spill. "It's pretty ugly."

Meanwhile, emergency dispatchers announced Tuesday that residents in the city -- as well as in nearby Independence, Elk City, Fredonia, Neodesha, Longton and rural water districts in Montgomery and Wilson counties -- should boil all water before consumption to alleviate fears of contamination.

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