Wednesday, June 2, 2010
BP has freed the snared diamond wire cutting saw that was being used to cut off the damaged riser pipe however mats of weathered oil and tar balls from the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster could hit the western Florida Panhandle "in a day or two," Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said Wednesday.
Sheen from the leading edge of the spill was spotted just short of 10 miles from Florida shores Tuesday night, and "thousands of tar balls" were in the water with it, Crist told reporters Wednesday morning.
The announcement follows the discovery of oil on Alabama and Mississippi barrier islands that is believed to be from the undersea gusher that has been spewing off Louisiana since late April. State officials are deploying another 66,000 feet of protective booms to the state's westernmost three counties, and boats have been sent out to try to skim as much of the oil off the water as possible, Crist said.
"The goal is to remove that oil from near-shore waters and prevent and minimize any potential impacts on our state," he said.
Beleaguered oil company BP hit another snag Wednesday morning in its attempt to cap the undersea gusher responsible for the worst oil disaster in U.S. history.
The blade of a diamond wire cutter being used to slice off the damaged riser pipe got stuck -- much like a saw on a tree limb -- and stalled the "cut and cap" operation for about five hours, said U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the federal government's point man in the Gulf.
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