Predicting the Oil Slick & Unrest in the BayouJune 9th, 2010 at 4:19 pm by Jason Smith under FOX10 News, FOX10 Stormtracker Weather, Jason Smith - FOX10 Outdoors
Every aspect of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster is something totally new for just about all of us. Predicting the oil spill and when these small plumes of sheen and tar balls will affect our beaches is very difficult. This week, we saw very light impacts Monday and Tuesday with only light reports of shoreline contact. Wednesday brought a much more significant coating to areas around Orange Beach and Perdido Pass.
The oil is spreading throughout the northern Gulf, directed by Gulf Currents and surface winds. Things get more complicated when the areas get closer to the beaches. Tides and sea breezes make the oil even harder to predict.
This week, overflight maps indicate a significant area of sheen and orange emulsion located about 15 miles off the Baldwin County beaches. Small pieces of this break off and affect the beaches on occasion. The real problem will begin when this slick impacts the shore directly. Hopefully we have a better system in place to combat the slick when it gets here.
I spent a good bit of time in Bayou LaBatre and Mississippi Sound today. There was quite a mix of sentiments about the situation. There are a large number of commercial fishermen who are residents of south Mobile County who claim that BP will not hire them. They are out of work because of the oil spill and closed fishing areas.
I also witnessed a large number of boaters, many in pleasure boats and recreational boats, that were participating in the BP work program. Many had accents and car tags that indicated they were not from this area. Most were riding around in circles around Katrina Cut and Dauphin Island serving the role as oil spotters. BP is paying folks to ride around and look for oil. Very few were deploying boom, cleaning beaches, or doing any other actual work to prepare for a spill. The situation is totally disorganized.