Small Spill Proves Difficult To Remove
By Jack Gurner
WATER VALLEY – Police and city workers had to deal with a mess on Main Street after a five-gallon bucket containing an unknown chemical spilled Friday afternoon around 3:05.
An eyewitness told the Herald that the bucket fell from a late-model, white pick-up truck when the vehicle moved forward after stopping for the traffic light at Main and Panola Streets.
The spilled liquid was described as fluorescent yellow or green with an odor like gasoline or diesel fuel.
The witness said that another driver honked their horn to get the pick-up driver’s attention. The pick-up stopped and a heavy-set white male wearing shorts retrieved the bucket and left the scene.
A city utility worker radioed the 911 dispatcher and reported the spill. A few minutes later a truck from the street department arrived and put down sand.
After citizen complaints mid-morning Saturday about the strong chemical odor and dust cloud, a fire department pumper was dispatched to wash the street. Amid concerns that the water was making the mess worse, street department manager Mike Scroggins brought the city’s street sweeper to the scene.
Police officers Lan Smith and Tony Hernandez directed traffic to keep cars off the sand until it could be swept up. The dust cloud generated by the sweeper made the officers hard to see at times and some vehicles passed dangerously close.
Police were detouring southbound traffic onto Panola Street and northbound traffic onto Blackmur Drive. Several drivers stopped and pointed down Main to indicate that was the direction they needed to go.
One older driver stopped to complain to the Herald reporter that the police tried to keep her from going home by not letting her go down Main Street. She said that the detour up Panola and down Dupuy was not her usual route.
Much of the sand was removed by the morning sweep and most of the remainder was picked up during the late evening sweeper run Saturday night.
City officials said they need to know the type of chemicals involved in such incidents and ask that spills be reported to the police department at 473-2933.
Lt. Rick McCuan reported the following additional law enforcement activity within the Water Valley City limits during the past week:
• Made two arrests for disorderly conduct;
• Made an arrest for DUI first offense;
• Made an arrest for DUI second offense;
• Made an arrest for no driver’s license;
• Made an arrest for simple domestic assault;
• Made an arrest for the Miss. Dept. of Correction for a parole violation;
• Took a report of simple assault;
• Took a report of stalking;
• Took a report of petty larceny;
• Took a report of theft of communications involving a cell phone;
• Took a report of leaving the scene of an accident;
• Issued a citation for violation of the city dog ordinance for a dog running at large;
• Issued three youth summons for violation of the city curfew;
• Issued 16 traffic citations;
• Investigated three crashes.
County Crime Report
Investigating vehicles accidents provided the most activity for Yalobusha County sheriff deputies during the last week, according to Sheriff Lance Humphreys.
The most unusual accident was a one-vehicle accident on Nov. 3.
“The car was sitting upside down on County Road 222 and the driver was gone,” Humphreys said. This incident is under investigation.
Other accidents included a single car accident on Hwy. 32 on Nov. 8 after the drive struck a deer; an accident on Hwy. 7, near Tennessee Street, in Coffeeville on Nov. 5; a minor accident in a parking lot at the Shell Station in Oakland on Nov. 1; and a traffic accident on County Road 211 in which the drive was arrest for DUI, first offense.
“He blew .022,” Humphreys said about the driver.
Other activity included:
• A report of disorderly conduct on Nov. 9 at 330 Superstop.
• An investigation into an attempted suicide on County Road 90.
• A simple assault on County Road 220.
• A disturbance of the family on County Road 126 on Nov. 1.
• An arrest on Hwy. 51 at the Oakland Apartments for domestic violence on Nov. 8.
• A report of disturbance of the family on County Road 96 on Nov. 2.
• A report of credit card fraud between Oct. 22 and Nov. 4.