Lightning strike blamed for oil spill in Lytle

Up to 20 barrels of oil spilled

LYTLE, Texas – Lightning struck an oil storage tank early Sunday in Lytle, causing hundreds of gallons of oil to spill.


Lynette Murphy said the storms and a strong odor woke her up in the middle of the night.


"Around 3 a.m. when the storms came in, I started smelling an odd odor and I thought maybe it was sewage," she said. "So I walked around and I couldn't find anything, and I waited until the sun came up."


Johnny Melancon of FlowFect Inc., an owner of one of the companies cleaning up the mess, said the spill appears to be minor.


"Looks much worse. It's not that much oil that we're looking at. Maybe 15-20 barrels of oil," he said. "We're going to use a special soap that's environmentally-friendly that will emulsify the oil." 


Murphy said she's still not convinced that the danger has subsided.


"The kids go in there. They don't go swimming but they do fish. Right now, it's not a place where I would take my child," she said.


A spokesperson for the Texas Commission On Environmental Quality said it would be up to county officials to monitor the effects of the spill.