A government official says it's the first major threat to Grand Isle, Louisiana in three weeks. A massive oil slick, described as "a tremendous plume" by the official, on a direct course to hit the Gulf Coast in 24-48 hours.
The slick, photographed by a Fox Cameraman aboard a chartered helicopter, is 20 miles out in the Gulf but headed towards land. It's said to be 32 miles long and several miles wide, with "fingers" of thick crude stretching in different directions both at sea level and below.
The slick may be broken up by chemical dispersants dropped from planes, but the layers of defenses established by BP and government officials, including containment boom, barges and skimmer ships may not be enough to keep the oil from reaching land.
It's expected to make impact by Monday night or Tuesday morning.
And in the meantime, the oil is hitting Mississippi as well, and as Think Progress reports, Haley Barbour had some other priorities.
As significant amounts of oil from the BP disaster moved past Mississippi’s barrier islands this week, Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS) partied in Washington DC to raise money for Republicans. On Wednesday, boats were skimming oil near the Petit Bois Island at the Mississippi-Alabama border. Barbour decided to attend to his duties as a political fundraiser.
...The system for responding to a major oil spill depends on coordination between the federal government, the responsible oil company, and the state government. Out of the 6,000 National Guard troops President Obama has authorized for response in Mississippi, Haley Barbour has mobilized only 58. However, he has declared today to be a Day of Prayer “to remember the Mississippi Gulf Coast.” Read on...
I guess we'll see how much longer he's going to pretend the oil isn't hitting Mississippi's coastline when he returns.