British energy giant BP has promised to pay for the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that has started to wash ashore.
Louisiana has already declared a state of emergency and asked for further federal funds to contain it.
But, hour by hour the slick is spelling economic and ecological catastrophe.
‘‘It’s just terrible. I mean, the lives of the people here are just going to be destroyed, not for just a short time, but probably for a long time, so we’re just hoping that something changes where the oil doesn’t come in or it’s not as bad as they predict,’‘ one boat keeper said.
‘‘It could take us out of business for a while. I guess about the only thing we can do is jump on board and try to help them clean it up. It could be devastating,’‘ said a charter boat captain.
An estimated 5000 barrels a day are spewing out from three leaks on the ocean floor from the wrecked BP oil rig Deepwater Horizon. That’s five times more than previously thought and could take 3 months to cap. Strong winds are pushing the crude to the Mississippi Delta threatening fragile fisheries and habitats. The White House has placed an immediate ban on all drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
It is feared the spill could be worse than the Exxon Valdez in 1989. That saw massive destruction to Alaska’s eco system when more than 250,000 barrels of oil leaked from the tanker.