Roanoke City officials release details on pollution in Tinker Creek, Vinton closes Tinker Creek Canoe Launch

Local News

The pollution does not affect drinking water to houses, only if you drink water directly from the creek

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UPDATE 5:05 p.m.: Officials with the Town of Vinton has announced the Tinker Creek Canoe Launch is closed until further notice due to an upstream petroleum-based spill – the details of which are outlined below.

ORIGINAL STORY:

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) – The City of Roanoke along with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) have some information to pass along to those utilizing or living near the Tinker Creek Waterway in the City of Roanoke and Vinton.

On July 13, 2020, members of Roanoke Environmental Management and Roanoke Stormwater, in collaboration with DEQ and Norfolk-Southern, began monitoring a sheen on a small tributary to Tinker Creek that flows along Campbell Avenue SE.

Source tracking techniques were used to target the potential source of the sheen. Petroleum collection booms were also put in place to limit the sheen’s spread.

Rainfall Roanoke has received this week has caused sheen levels and odor to increase and spread from Lick Run into Tinker Creek which prompted the response of the Roanoke Fire-EMS’ HAZMAT team, Roanoke County Fire and Rescue, VDEM, Roanoke Emergency Management and Norfolk Southern on Friday morning to the 2000 block of Wise Avenue, SE.

HAZMAT members continue to work to mitigate and contain the pollutant by using booms in the water.

Contractors and DEQ remain on-scene cleaning up and containing the pollutant in the affected areas which includes Campbell Avenue, SE / Norfolk Ave. SE east of downtown, Tinker Creek downstream of 13th Street NE and the Roanoke River downstream of the Tinker Creek confluence.

Officials say the substance is petrolium based which could be an irritant. It shows up as a sheen on the water and has a strong odor.

Residents who live in the area or use the affected waterways are urged to remain out of the water until it is safe to enter. No swimming, wading, floating, boating or fishing are recommended.

Officials are urging citizens that if you ingest the affected water, to call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222.

This image shows the affected area. Roanoke Stormwater, Roanoke Environmental Management, Roanoke Emergency Management and DEQ are continually monitoring the situation.

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