Clean-up crews probably didn’t want chicken noodle soup for supper

At one of the more slippery intersections the sand has been swept away but some of the lime remains.
August 4th, 2021     Featured News General News

If you noticed a lot of sand on city streets Monday night or Tuesday morning, there was a good reason for it.

Just after 3:30 p.m. Monday afternoon the New Albany Police Department was dispatched to a motor vehicle accident in the vicinity of Hwy. 15, 348, and East Bankhead.

When officers arrived they found a considerable amount of liquid on the roadway causing a very slippery condition. But that wasn’t all.

More police officers along with all available law enforcement personnel from New Albany, Union County Sheriff’s Department, and Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol were requested along with Union County Emergency Management and New Albany Fire personnel due to the increasing number of calls coming in from various parts of town about something oily on the road.

The trail of extremely slick substance was traced from the east side of the city, onto Interstate 22, exiting at Munsford Drive where it trailed back to Hwy. 30 west and out of town.

Information was passed on to fire department personnel that the substance was coming from the top of a tank truck and started at the biodiesel facility on Hwy. 15 at North Haven.

Contact was made at the facility where it was determined the slippery product was chicken fat.

Personnel at the facility contacted the truck company driver who had been stopped in Lafayette County due to the leak. The driver returned to New Albany and met with EMA and the Fire Department to find out what happened.

“Apparently there had been some mechanical issues unloading and the product which was chicken fat did not unload properly,” Fire Chief Mark Whiteside said. “The top hatch on the tank may not have been secured as it should have been, and when the truck-trailer would stop and start again, significant amounts of product would leak from the trailer and out on the ground.”

He estimated that 500 gallons or more had spilled on the road and following vehicles all along the route the truck took. Vehicles were spinning out of control when they hit areas where the chicken fat had spilled.

Mississippi Department of Transportation crews from Union County placed sand or dirt on the roadway to lessen the slick film on the roadway. Lime was added to control the odor.

EMA Director Curt Clayton made contact with MDOT, the truck company safety directors, driver, Department of Environmental Quality, representatives from the facility on Hwy. 15 at North Haven, clean-up crews and others involved in the incident.

Clean-up including the sand and lime continued well into the late evening hours by a local clean-up team contacted by the truck company.

“What was seen here today was a joint effort by all emergency responders working as one organization to bring a potentially bad situation under control. Good communication, quick action, professionalism and cooperation was the key to preventing any further problems,” Whiteside said.

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