Breaking: Oil Spill Goes Inland – Tar Balls Hit Lake Pontchartrain
Day 77 of the Obama-BP Oil Spill Disaster–
Tar balls are washing up on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana.
MATTHEW HINTON / THE TIMES-PICAYUNE A tar ball washed ashore near the Treasure Isle subdivision in Lake Pontchartrain as people fish near the Rigolets in Slidell on Monday (NOLA)
Showing just how unpredictable and all-consuming the massive Gulf oil spill can be, tar balls and small sheens of oil have entered Lake Pontchartrain and are hitting Texas shores for the first time.
John Lopez, director of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation’s coastal stainability program, spotted the first tar balls in the Rigolets Pass on Sunday. By Monday, the blobs of oil had washed ashore as far west as Treasure Isle in Slidell.
Cleanup crews used nets to scoop up the tar balls throughout the day, collecting more than 1,000 pounds of oil and waste. BP also deployed 19 manual skimming vessels and four decontamination vessels to the area, and placed 600-feet of hard and soft boom at a choke point in the Rigolets to prevent more oil from entering the lake. Cleanup efforts are expected to resume today.
Lopez said oil made its way into the lake because of winds from the far edges of Hurricane Alex last week as well as sustained east and southeast winds during the weekend. The winds from Alex pushed a large amount of oil into the Mississippi Sound for the first time, and the east winds during the past few days pushed oil into Lake Borgne, the Rigolets and eventually the eastern stretches of Lake Pontchartrain.
Reader Lucy B. sent this from her friends in Louisiana:
Maybe you heard the national news report yesterday that oil has now hit not only the Louisiana Gulf Coast, but now our own backyard! The Times-Picayune headline today is “TAR BALLS REACH LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN – Winds Drive Oil West to Slidell Subdivision.”
Donna and I got up to Pensacola last week for a day to get a first-hand look at the oil situation. We walked through musician Jimmy Buffet’s new hotel and out to the once pristine white beach. It was awful. Tar balls were in the water and on the beach. Once the hot sun hits the sand, the tar balls liquefy.
I know that you are already praying for the Gulf region, but please include our local community.
It didn’t have to be this way.
There is now clear evidence that the negligence by the Obama Administration caused the destruction of the Gulf coastline.
** Weeks after the explosion the feds only accepted assistance from 5 of 28 countries.
** It took the Obama Administration 53 days to accept help from the Dutch and British.
** It took them 58 days to mobilize the US military to the Gulf.
** The feds shut down crude-sucking barges due to fire extinguisher concerns.
** The Obama Administration ignore oil boom manufacturers that have miles of product stockpiled in their warehouses.
** They only have moved 31 of 2,000 oil skimmers to the disaster area off of Florida.
** Florida hired an additional 5 skimmer boats to operate off its coast due to federal inaction.
** There are no skimmer boats off the coast of Mississippi.
** The massive A-Boat skimmer won’t be allowed to join the cleanup effort until the Coast Guard and the EPA figure out whether it meets their standards.
** The feds shut down sand berm dredging off the Louisiana coast.
** The Obama Administration lied about the oil spill cleanup efforts to Louisiana officials.
And now the oil is inland.