The City of Roanoke, 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, Roanoke Environmental Management and Roanoke Stormwater
, in collaboration with DEQ and Norfolk-Southern began monitoring a sheen on a small tributary to Tinker Creek flowing along Campbell Ave SE. Source tracking techniques were used to target the potential source of the sheen, and petroleum collection booms were put in place to limit its spread. Rainfall this week caused levels of the sheen and odor to increase and spread from Lick Run into Tinker Creek which prompted the response of the Roanoke FireEMS Department
HAZMAT team, Roanoke County Fire & Rescue, VDEM, Roanoke Emergency Management
and Norfolk Southern this morning. These crews responded at approximately 6:58am to the 2000 block of Wise Ave., SE.
HAZMAT team 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. The areas affected are: Campbell Ave. SE/Norfolk Ave. SE east of downtown, Tinker Creek downstream of 13th St. NE; and the Roanoke River downstream of the Tinker Creek confluence.
The substance is petroleum based which could be an irritant. It shows up as a sheen on the water and has a strong odor. Residents that live in the area or use the affected waterways are urged to stay out of the water until it is deemed safe to enter- no swimming, wading, floating, boating or fishing are recommended. If you ingest the affected water, please call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222.
Attached is a map of the affected area along with photos of HAZMAT crews.
Roanoke Stormwater, Roanoke Environmental Management, Roanoke Emergency Management and DEQ will continue to monitor the situation and we will post updates as needed.