Officials said residents of four of the more than 20 homes evacuated because of the oil spill could go home as early as Thursday. Federal on-scene coordinator Nick Brescia said the residents of eight or nine other homes could return in the coming days.
It's not clear when the rest could come back, but some people may not want to return as cleanup crews and their heavy equipment are still trying to get rid of what's left of the spill.
"We have not had a strong interest to get back into homes," Tyrone said.
So far, crews have recovered more than 28,000 barrels of oily water and about 2,000 cubic yards of oiled soil and debris, according to a statement from ExxonMobil and local officials. Officials estimate that about 5,000 barrels of oil spilled, though a final number isn't expected until the pipeline has been repaired and refilled.
Officials hope to remove the ruptured part of the Pegasus pipeline in the next few days, Tyrone said. Then, investigators may be able to piece together why it ruptured.
"You cannot know what happened until you get this piece of pipe out and you get it to a lab," she said.
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