South Mississippi officials, businesses prepare for oil impact - - The News for South Mississippi

South Mississippi officials, businesses prepare for oil impact


BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Mississippi leaders and environmental agencies are on alert as the oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico continues to grow.

On Biloxi's Point Cadet Thursday morning, crews from American Pollution Control were loading oil containment booms on to boats. The company from New Iberia, Louisiana specializes in emergency response.

Similar booms are going up at Northrop Grumman. As part of the company's environmental contingency plan, workers are placing an oil boom around the entire west bank facility to protect all Northrop Grumman and U.S. Navy assets.

Moby Solangi, Executive Director of the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport, said his group is preparing for a catastrophe. The facility is equipped to take care of marine animals injured by the floating oil.

Steve Landry, the director of Port Bienville in Hancock County, said his port is in a "wait and see" mode, but because it's an inland port, it may not be affected. Landry and Port of Gulfport Director Don Allee have both been in contact with the Coast Guard. Allee said so far no ships have been diverted to or away from Gulfport.

A spokesman for Governor Haley Barbour said state resources have been mobilized since the oil rig explosion last week. He said Mississippi is prepared for any impact on Mississippi's shoreline. A staging area is set up on Highway 67 in Biloxi.

Governor Barbour has been, and continues to be in contact with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Alabama Governor Bob Riley.

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