By Erwin Seba
CHALMETTE, Louisiana, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Eileen Schwartz stands on the sidewalk in front of her one-story house with new, blue siding, refurbished after the biggest environmental disaster created by Hurricane Katrina.
Looking down the street of abandoned houses and overgrown lawns in Chalmette, Louisiana, she explains what it's like to live where a year ago crude oil covered pavement, grass, porches, floors and furniture.
"It's like living in the country," Schwartz, 36, said. "You're still in the city, but it's quiet, like in the country."
Schwartz's home is one of 1,800 estimated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to be in the square mile (2.6 sq km) area flooded by 25,110 barrels (3,415 tonnes) of crude oil from Murphy Oil Co.'s (MUR.N: Quote, Profile, Research) 120,000 barrel-per-day refinery about a mile (1.6 km) to the east.
Floodwaters forced across St. Bernard Parish, about 10 miles (16 km) east of downtown New Orleans, by Hurricane Katrina on Aug. 29, 2005, floated a partially filled oil storage tank 33 feet (10 metres) off its base, releasing about a quarter of the crude inside. story continued