OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – It is a race against the clock after oil was found in Crooked Oak Creek in Southeast Oklahoma City Wednesday morning.
Crews are working to stop the leak and keep it from flowing north into the Oklahoma River.
An underground oil tank leak is what caused this near Southeast 69th and Eastern.
From there, to where the creek empties into the Oklahoma River, is a little more than five miles.
“We believe it’s a control valve in this; it’s a holding tank and the control valve was busted. So, they’re doing their best to…they have a company on scene now that is draining the oil off so [there are] no more leaks into the waterways. So, there’s no more product getting into the stream. So, now our crews are…we’re basically at every intersection from 59th, 44th, 23rd, 15th all the way down to the river,” said Scott Douglas, Assistant Public Information Officer, Oklahoma City Fire Department.
Several booms are now in place along the creek to stop the oil sheen from reaching the Oklahoma River.
“We have several booms in place. We’re trying to catch as much product as possible before it hits the Oklahoma River. At that point, it becomes a much larger cleanup area,” said Douglas.
The stormy weather hasn’t made the cleanup efforts any easier.
“Right now, we’re fighting a little bit as the rainstorms coming in. So, the water levels will be rising, and the streams will be moving quicker. So, we’ve got multiple booms in place doing our best to catch all the product we can so it doesn’t harm our environment,” said Douglas.
One of the biggest concerns is keeping the oil from further contaminating nearby water sources.
“Well, obviously it will affect all forms of wildlife, and just all of the water soaks into the ground and it eventually becomes our drinking water and groundwater. So, we want to try and mitigate and try to limit the effect on our environment as much as we can,” said Paul Nash, Battalion Chief, Oklahoma City Fire Department.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission is working with crews and will oversee the spill and cleanup.
Other agencies spotted on scene this morning include Oklahoma City Police, Boomer Cleanup Company, the Department of Environmental Quality and Storm Water Quality.
Officials have since determined it’s crude oil that spilled. They estimate 2,000-3,000 gallons made its way into the stream. They’re not sure how long it will take to clean it all up.