Ann Jarrell

How long have you lived in Mayflower? 2 years

What do you remember about the days surrounding the oil spill? Confusion about what was going on because I was not informed or contacted by anyone. This lack of information and the terrible smell and headaches were very stressful.

What was your level of concern about the environmental damage? What about the smell? I was aware of all the workers and police so I assumed that everything was being handled as it should be done. I did question the putrid smell and headaches and was told by Mayflower Police Department and Exxon officials that it was nothing to worry about and it would pass in a few days.

What about the response from officials and from Exxon? What response? I was not contacted by any official or by Exxon. I assumed if there was anything to be concerned about, they would contact me. I was wrong!

What has the past year been like around town? How quickly did things get back to normal? It is not and may never be normal again. There are for sale signs all over town and there are also deserted houses all over town. I’m afraid this town will eventually fade away.

How has your life been affected by this over the past year? It has been a nightmare for me and my family. When I finally learned on April 22 that we had been breathing in toxic chemicals, I was hysterical and could not believe that NO ONE told us. My house is less than 250 yards from the rupture site. My daughter and then 3-month-old grandson were living with me at the time of the rupture and when I found out on April 22 that we had been breathing in toxic chemicals I had her and my grandson leave and go live with my son. I continued to stay at my house when I was in town. Since I travel a lot I thought I would be OK. But I was wrong once again. I have been fighting several health issues. Headaches that no medicine could stop, non-stop coughing and trouble breathing, blurry vision, memory loss, confusion, thyroid levels are all high. Since I have not lived in my house since August 20, 2013, I thought I would start feeling better, but instead I seem to be feeling worse and worse and having more and more health issues. My grandson has also had issues with breathing, and infected lungs. My life is so full of stress and uncertainty that I wonder if I will ever feel normal again. I pay for a house I cannot live in. All my possessions and plants, my bees and furniture and space that were mine, are gone. I no longer have any idea what the future holds for me.