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Louisiana reacts to apparent plug of oil spill

Louisiana reacts to apparent plug of oil spill
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It is the big talking point at Zydeco’s Cajun Kitchen in Belle Chasse, Louisiana.

Oil is no longer spewing into the Gulf of Mexico, at least for now, as BP said it had choked off the flow from its ruptured undersea well.

But it has taken 86 days to get to this point and, in a state still reeling from Hurricane Katrina, relief is mixed with caution.

“I think that is great,” said diner Damien Ross.
“Hopefully, the leak is stopped now and we can start getting some revenue back into the city of New Orleans, here. A lot of local agencies lost a lot of business due to the oil spill. Hopefully we will get everything cleaned up and get back up to speed.”

“Long overdue,” was fellow diner Cheryl Leblanc’s reaction. “My original impression was, we could have done this months ago. If you cook Gumbo, you know how to skim oil off water. We could have done it then.”

“I think something could have been done long before this,” added another customer Barbara Shackelford. “Two catastrophes in five years is a little bit too much.”

About a third of Gulf fisheries have shut down amid the economic and environmental disaster caused by the spill. For some fishermen, progress now is too little, too late.

“The damage is done, huh? The oil is everywhere now,” said Louisiana commercial fisherman Johnny Schneider. “They ought to leave it on the top of the water so we catch it instead of keep dispersing it and sending it to the bottom. We ain’t never going to get it out of the water.”

President Obama has hailed the halt in the oil flow as a positive sign but urged caution. “We are still in the testing phase,” he said.

BP said it stopped the leak on Thursday with the containment cap installed on its blown-out well three days earlier. With test results expected today, it remains unclear whether a permanent solution has been found.

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