Community still dealing with jet fuel spill almost a month later

Several people still are feeling the effects of a jet fuel spill at Naval Air Station Oceana nearly a month after it took place.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- Community members still are demanding answers after 94,000 gallons of jet fuel spilled at Naval Air Station Oceana almost a month ago.

"We would sell our home in a heartbeat if we could, which wouldn't be fair to people buying it," explained Richard Madden.

Richard and his wife, Donna, have lived in the same home for 30 years, but for the past two weeks, they have been staying somewhere else.

Richard said, "We come in for two or three hours, nose burning, eyes burning. Donna's chest is hurting."

The Maddens told 13News Now they've had the symptoms since the fuel spill on May 11. Initially, the Navy thought it would take only 48 hours to clean up.

"You walk down to the water, and it's worse. You smell it. It's not going to go away. In time, maybe. How long?" Richard asked.

Donna said she feels like a yo-yo, bouncing from place to place staying in hotels some nights and staying with family on other occasions.

"It's a nightmare," she stated. "It's terrible."

The Maddens said all they want is to come back to a place that doesn't smell like gas and doesn't make them dizzy.

"They told us to open the windows, let it air out, put the fan on constantly, and change the filters, and we have done that," explained Richard.

Styron Daniels is in the same boat. She just moved back into her home Monday afternoon.

Daniels said, "My house still smells. My child is still having breathing problems. We are still having headaches, and we have been gone for two-and-a-half weeks."

Daniels and the Maddens told 13News Now the Navy reimbursed them for hotel stays. They're happy about that, but they want more. They're hoping the Navy will foot the bill for some additional costs.

"Air testing in the house, not just a walk through. A good friend of mine said we should have our soil tested," Madden said.

Navy spokeswoman told 13News Now, "It's our intent to ensure every concern and issue is addressed swiftly with each family."

Baker said in the Maddens' case, Richard attended an informational meeting about the fuel spill on May 15. The Navy relocated the family to a hotel with per-diem included from May 17 to May 31. Richard Madden met with the commanding officer on May 31. Stanley Steamer cleaned carpets, furniture, and drapes in the family's home on June 1. Baker told 13News Now that, on June 5, Richard requested in-home air sampling and soil testing. The Navy put that on contract to meet the requests.

Baker said the Navy assisted Daniels, relocating her to a hotel from May 17 to May 31. 

 

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