Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Globs of oil on Pensacola's pristine white sand beaches

Pensacola Beach, part of the "Emerald Coa...Image via Wikipedia

  • PENSACOLA, Fla. – This morning residents and tourists in Pensacola Beach awoke to the day they long feared.
    The high tide, plus southeast winds overnight, brought globs of oil onto the pristine white sand beaches here. The oil is now fouling those beaches for as one official said, "as far as the eye can see."
    Photo by Mark Potter/ NBC News
    Globs of oil washed up on Pensacola Beach Wednesday morning - fouling the pristine white sand beaches.
    All along the water line this morning, tar has been washing ashore. You can see it in the surf – it is all over the beach. It is sticky, brown and running in lines all along the waterline, in front of the hotels and near Pensacola's famous fishing pier.
    This morning, there were a few people out on the beaches, walking, looking at the oil and shaking their heads, but no one is going in the water.
    Clean-up crews are here and starting to work on the beaches. Some skimmer boats could be seen off in the horizon, trying to catch the oil as it comes ashore.
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    But when I got out here early this morning, shortly after dawn, there were no skimmer boats out there catching the oil, it came ashore unimpeded.
    The fact that the skimmer boats are offshore suggests there is probably more oil still coming in. The wind continues to blow from the southeast, pushing whatever oil there is toward the shore. So this is something that could continue throughout the day. But already the beaches are fouled and swimmers are not able to go into the water.

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