Monday, August 9, 2010

Road Trip

A caravan will take off from St. Louis, Missouri, Monday in support of Gulf Coast businesses in the aftermath of the oil disaster.

"We've learned of so many businesses in the Gulf region that are losing their customers, employees and dreams because of the impact on tourism," organizer Dennis Gorg said in a statement. "As a small business owner, I can't imagine how I'd support the people who depend on me. We can do something. We can become tourists with a purpose."

The caravan plans to stop and spend money at businesses along the Gulf in Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida panhandle, completing their trek on Friday. The group says it will blog about its experience.

Obama administration officials said Sunday that while the undersea gusher in the Gulf of Mexico has been brought under control, the worst oil spill in U.S. history will continue to be felt along the Gulf Coast for some time.

"If you're sitting in Barataria Bay, it's still a disaster. If the folks have not come back to the panhandle of Florida, it's still a disaster," former Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the administration's point man for the disaster, told CNN's "State of the Union."

A report from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration last week found three-quarters of the oil spilled between late April and mid-July has been collected, dispersed or evaporated. But Allen said, "We need to keep a steady hand at the tiller to keep the cleanup going."

"It's a catastrophe. It's a catastrophe for the people of the Gulf, and it requires our attention until we get the job done," he said.

Allen will hold a teleconference Monday to update response efforts in the Gulf.

And White House environmental adviser Carol Browner told NBC's "Meet the Press" that the "first phase" of the disaster was over -- but it is "not the end by any means."   See Full Story

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