Posts Tagged ‘Montreal’

Waterford Oil Spill

Saturday, July 17th, 2010

Today’s the 50th anniversary of an oil spill in North Waterford, Maine.

I never really though about it, but the Portland–Montreal Pipe Line runs through town on its way to Montreal. Apparently there’s also a pumping station there (along with the one in Raymond at the mouth of Plains Road).

Here’s the story from July 18, 1960’s Lewiston Daily Sun:

A break in the Portland Pipe Line a short distance from the pumping station at North Waterford made that area of Waterford a potential powder keg early Sunday morning. The pipe carrying crude oil broke on the hill above the Waterford pumping station and a brook of oil came rushing down the hillside and across the highway and into a small brook where it put an eight inch coating of oil over the water.

The Oxford County Sheriff’s Department and State Police were alerted and road blocks were set up to keep spectators away from the area.

Dee C. Hutchins, superintendent of the Waterford station said that the crude oil was highly combustible.

The Norway, Paris and Oxford Fire Departments were called to the scene to be ready in case something should happen to ignite the fumes which filled the area.

All available bulldozers from the area were rushed to the scene to build earth dams in the brook to keep the oil from getting into Crooked River. Hutchins estimated that over 1,000 barrels of oil spread over the area.

Authorities confronted with the hazard decided to burn the accumulated substance, later Sunday. This was done in the brook which the bulldozers had turned onto a series of pools separated by earth dams.

With an abundance of fire equipment standing by, the oil was burned one pool at a time. The smokey fire drew much attention from motorists in the vicinity.

It’s no Deepwater Horizon, but still, it’s something for a little town like North Waterford …