The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Flood Waters, Affective In Stopping Corn Oil Spill

by Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Pubisher/Owner

Vallbracht Trucking, Inc., a Kirkwood based trucking firm, found advantages to the Mississippi flood waters this past Friday after one of their semis overturned on Burlington, Iowa's Front Street.

Police reported that a driver of one of Vallbracht's semis hired by Big River Terminal to deliver corn oil from Big River Resources ethanol plant to their train and barge terminal along downtown Burlington's river front, was traveling eastbound from the ethanol plant in West Burlington, IA off the exit ramp of US 34 onto Front Street and he failed to complete the turn at the Drake Restaurant onto Columbia Street.

A small portion of the 5,800 gallons of corn oil was spurting onto the roadway and into the culvert and into the sewer drain but the flood waters were keeping the oil from going into the river.

A spokesman at the Ethanol plant said because the river was high and the oil was floating on top of the water, they were able to hire environmentalists who quickly vacuumed all of the corn oil and captured it out of the sewer cavity.

He also said the "slippery situation" on the street was handled as the city crews quickly diked it up with sand and their specialists swept it up and washed the streets.

According to witnesses, one man thought the driver looked as if he was having trouble with his brakes.

The driver, Thomas L. Pulliam, 38 of Monmouth, was hurt and pulled to safety and treated and released at GRMC in West Burlington, IA.

Pulliam's usual route would have taken him straight on Front Street past the Port of Burlington and the Auditorium but the barricade which had been installed for Steamboat Days preparation may have startled him. This was his third or fourth load that day.

The driver was fortunate in that he escaped with only cuts and bruises. However, he was cited for Failure To Maintain Control and for Illegal Placards, according to the report.

The incident occurred shortly before noon.

IDOT, as a result of the accident, checked into the records on file of the trucking company and found they had a very good record of keeping their equipment up and an excellent safety record, the spokes person said.

Additional inspections were scheduled to be made Tuesday.