New Orleans, La. – The lake is actually an estuary north of the city that connects to the Gulf of Mexico 60 miles to the south through two passes. Officials say tar balls have appeared in one of those passes, and oil is now expected to reach the lake itself. East winds that developed with Hurricane Alex have pushed oil into fragile wetland areas that protect the city of New Orleans from hurricane surge. The state has closed fishing areas bordering the entrance to the lake. Fourteen skimmers and four decontaminating units have been working in those waters. It could be the second major to hit the popular fishing and recreation area since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
For NPR News, I'm Eileen Fleming in New Orleans.