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Graham neighbors concerned about possible oil, pollution in creek

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GRAHAM, N.C. -- People in a Graham neighborhood said they are stumped about what is causing possible pollution in their nearby creek.

Neighbors said a constant layer of film is flowing on top of the water, causing a bad smell in the area.

City workers said they placed at least two large absorbency tubes into parts of the creek near Marshall Road, but so far it's unclear exactly what is being cleaned up.

Reverend Normal Fargis said you don't have to look too closely at the creek to see and smell that something is wrong.

"The whole area now -- you can just smell the stench of fuel," Fargis said. "We look at this as an emergency. It's still flowing through -- you can see that scum on top, flowing continuously. The stench is of diesel oil."

There is no official confirmation about what the substance is. Several neighbors said they are concerned about where it's coming from.

Glenn Hutcherson said he walks his dog along the creek several times a day and noticed the mess getting worse over the last week.

"The Fire Department was down here several times and looked, walked all through trying to determine where it's coming from," he said.

The creek flows in the Haw River and eventually into Jordan Lake.

"I've worked around diesel fuel before and it's a very distinct odor. You just don't mistake it for anything else," Hutcherson said.

He says regardless of what it is, the community wants to know how to stop it.

"We feel helpless," said Rev. Fargis.

Neighbors who've called in the problem to Graham officials say they were promised the city would continue to work on the problem this week. FOX 8 was unable to reach city officials for comment Sunday.