40 miles of Florida beaches seeping with oil; Tropical Storm Alex to hit GOM today

Kevin Reed, 36, of Pensacola breaks down and weeps upon seeing the oil-defiled shores of Pensacola Beach on June 23, 2010. Reed's father taught him to swim in these waters, and Reed just taught his five year old son to swim here. "This will never be the same," he says. "I'd like to take the CEO of BP and jam his face in that pile on the beach."

By Various Sources

See large images at TampaBay.com

NAPLES NEWS June 24:

A Florida beach was closed to visitors for the first time because of the Gulf oil spill Thursday as workers tried to remove pools of black sludge from Pensacola Beach’s once-white sands.

Authorities ran yellow tape along a quarter-mile of the beach about 75 feet back from the water, leaving beachgoer Nancy Salinas in tears.

“It’s just awful. It just breaks your heart,” she said. “I can’t get my feet in the water.”

Lifeguard Collin Cobia wore a red handkerchief over his nose and mouth to block the oil smell.

“It’s enough to knock you down,” he said.

Health advisories suggesting people shouldn’t swim or fish are posted for 33 miles of Florida Panhandle beaches stretching from the Florida/Alabama border through Pensacola Beach and through a six-mile stretch of beaches further east in the Walton County area near the popular tourist spot of Destin.

The suggested advisories had been posted in various areas since the beginning of the month, but people hadn’t been kept off a Florida beach by authorities before Thursday.

Continuous layer of oil beneath the sand:

A trench dug by a group of Univ of S. Florida geologists shows a continuous layer of oil approximately six inches beneath the surface of Pensacola Beach near Gulf Islands National Seashore on June 24.

Read full story at NAPLES NEWS.

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Former Oil Worker Says Cleanup Just For Show

By Bill Riales
WKRG, Mobile-Pensacola

Former oil clean-up worker Candi Warren says she signed up to make a difference, but soon found out the work of cleaning the beaches was all cosmetic. That’s what she was told, she says.

Warren says she knew that when crews worked during the day, the tide and surf buried oil overnight. But they were forbidden to dig it up. She quit in disgust three weeks ago despite the $18 per hour pay.

She said she was told to only clean the surface of the sand, that this is all cosmetic. She was on a crew at Gulf State Park where tourists go. She says it has priority so as to make it look like the beaches are clean.

Warren says she believes money is being wasted on the crews and says “At some point the real clean-up will have to begin, but I’m afraid the money will be gone.”

She used a shovel and dug down six, eight, maybe twelve inches into the sand to show us the layers of oil close to the shoreline.

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Tropical Storm Alex to hit GOM today

Florida Releases June 27, 2010 Gulf Oil Spill Situation Update

On June 27 NOAA places the oil plume 57 miles from Mexico Beach and 244 miles from St. Petersburg.

Winds and currents will prevent a further eastward movement of the oil plume along the northwestern Florida coastline.

Areas already impacted, west of the Choctawhatchee Bay, will continue to receive impacts as the oil plume moves slightly northwest and closer to the shoreline.

No significant amounts of oil are within or moving towards the loop current ring and there is no clear path for oil to enter the Florida Straits within the next 5 days.

Tropical Storm Alex began to move across the Yucatan Peninsula last night and is expected to reach the Gulf of Mexico by this afternoon.

The majority of the computer models, along with the National Hurricane Center, are forecasting Alex to move towards the west-northwest and impact the coastline near the Texas-Mexico border later this week.

The system is also forecasted to slightly increase in intensity as it moves across the warm water of the Gulf of Mexico before making landfall.

All Florida Beaches Remain open. Pensacola Beach is open but has been closed to swimming and wading until further notice. Learn more.

Governor Charlie Crist, the State Emergency Response Team and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) are actively coordinating and responding to the Deepwater Horizon incident.

The following is a summary of state and BP response actions as of June 27, 2010.

Map of BP Oil Spill as of June 27, 2010. Click here for larger picture.

This forecast is based on the NWS spot forecast from Saturday, June 26 PM. Currents were obtained from several models (NOAA Gulf of Mexico, West Florida Shelf/USF, NAVO/NRL) and HFR measurements. The model was initialized from Saturday satellite imagery analysis (NOAA/NESDIS) and overflight observations.

The leading edge may contain tarballs that are not readily observable from the imagery (hence not included in the model initialization). Oil near bay inlets could be brought into that bay by local tidal currents. Winds are forecast to be predominantly easterly (SE/ESE) through Tuesday at speeds of 5-15 kts.

This will result in the northern edge of the slick moving northwest threatening the barrier islands of Mississippi/Alabama and the Florida Panhandle east to Freeport, FL.

The Chandeleur Islands, Breton Sound and the Mississippi Delta are also threatened by shoreline contacts in this forecast period. West of the Delta, the shoreline between Barataria Bay and Terrebone Bay are threatened as Saturday’s overflight reported brown bands of oil south and west of SW Pass.

Read full release here.

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Folks bring Goo-Gone for day at Destin Beach, Florida

June 23 video:

Read full story at NBC Miami.

2 responses to “40 miles of Florida beaches seeping with oil; Tropical Storm Alex to hit GOM today

  1. We have some type of oil coming up from the ground in Mary Esther, FL. Our neighborhood is only 3-8 feet above the ocean and we have a marsh at the end of the street that backs up to the intercostal waterway. Something is really wrong around here and the fire dept and hazvab team that came out said they could not confirm it was crude or dispersment material. Told us it was not toxic….yea right! We are scared and don’t know who to call that will test this stuff properly and not try and cover it up as normal. If anyone has recommendations please let me know.

    • Hey, Christian – All of Okaloosa Cnty is impacted, per Florida Gov.

      If it’s oil, there are non toxic removal techniques. See >Can’t wait for CorpoGov? Remove oil safely without toxic dispersants for some ideas – hair booms, etc.

      You might want to buy a hydrocarbon testing kit. Hanby sells them for $900 a pop. This is what the professor in Key West said he was going to do.

      The oil and the dispersants are highly toxic.

      You may want to take 24-hour HAZWOPER training, at $575 per person. Or, the cheaper HAZMAT volunteer training for $100 (a four-hour class). BP gave Key West $10,000 toward that cost. I’m sure Okaloosa has received funds from BP..

      you can check the florida gov site for info and updates; and to get on their mailing list http://www.dep.state.fl.us/deepwaterhorizon/

      okaloosa county water sampling results are here http://www.dep.state.fl.us/deepwaterhorizon/water.htm#counties

      you may also try to reach a trusted expert to perform the tests for you, if you don’t trust the gov, or your own sampling

      Terrible to hear this Christian… good luck to you. In Ft Lauderdale, so far, we are not impacted by the gusher.

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