New Orleans, La. – Hurricane Alex steered 500 miles away from the leaking oil well but still managed to knock out containment efforts along the Gulf Coast. Now weaker winds and storm systems are pushing oil into sensitive wetlands where skimmers are getting back in service.
Rear Admiral Paul Zukunft says rough seas make it difficult to skim and contain oil away from marshes.
New Orleans, La. – The Coast Guard says wind and currents are pushing the oil west and into sensitive wetland areas south of New Orleans. Rear Admiral Paul Zukunft says estuaries connecting Lake Pontchartrain north of New Orleans could be contaminated.
"It's going to be a long weekend from an oil-spill response perspective. And we expect that there's going to continue to be intermittent periods of rain and thunderstorms due to a trough system across the Gulf of Mexico." :15
New Orleans, La. – Coast Guard Rear Admiral Paul Zukunft says waves up to 10 feet high at the drilling site are making the sea too rough for skimmers to recover oil off the water and winds are too strong to burn oil off the surface. But he says things could be have been worse had the hurricane headed north.
"We've been held hostage by the oil but now the weather is holding us hostage. And, granted, this is not severe weather like what you would experience in a hurricane."
New Orleans, La. – BP is planning to put a new containment cap over the leaking well with a tighter seal than the one that's now in place. But officials say oil would pour straight into the Gulf while the switch is underway. Napolitano says secretaries of the Interior and Energy Departments will review alternatives.
New Orleans, La. – Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen says a third containment system set to go on line this week has been delayed. He says 10- to 12-foot seas are expected for the next few days.
"When we get over about 5 foot of seas they're going to have to stop the preparations for the Helix Producer which was the third production vessel we were going to bring in on the 30th of June to hook to the new vertical riser to increase our production up to 53,000 barrels."
New Orleans, La. – Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen says more oil is heading toward wetlands.
"We have seen the oil change direction. It was generally heading east to the panhandle of Florida. Because of wind conditions and current we now see oil start to enter Mississippi Sound and areas around Chandeleur and Breton Sound. We're very concerned about that. We're moving forces there as we speak."
New Orleans, La. – Governor Jindal says BP has yet to provide details of how it would move clean-up crews away from the oil spilling into four states.
"One of the things they've asked them to do is to commit about the specific evacuation staging areas, where they'll go and locate. Earlier we'd them for their plan. It wasn't adequate. We've asked them to update it."