WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - Looks of concern were on the faces of Waveland city leaders Friday morning. Busy hands were nervously taking down notes, as Mayor Tommy Longo talked about the seriousness of the situation.
The mayor said this could end up being the worst catastrophe to hit the city since Katrina. And Longo said the spill won't be going away anytime soon.
"Until they get those wells sealed off, the oil will continue to come and this couldn't be a worse time for the environment or our tourism season," Longo said.
City leaders may end up closing the recently completed Waveland Pier, so sightseers won't put themselves in danger when the oil comes ashore. Boat owners are being urged to get their vessels to safe harbor. And booms are being put in place to keep the oil from leaching into sensitive estuaries.
Rough seas may help for a time, but are no answer for the onslaught of oil, according to the mayor.
"It helps to disperse and mix up the oil so that it's not as heavy, initially. But it's really just slowing up the inevitable, because the oil is out there and continues to leak into the gulf, and it continues to come this way."
Even Assistant Fire Chief Mike Smith has concerns about the impact of the spill, but from a more human perspective.
"The issue, I think, is that a lot of these people are just now getting back on their feet, just now getting the seafood industry back going again, and this may provide them a setback. So hopefully it doesn't reach that point."
If it does reach that point, it may be years before the city recovers from this latest blow.
City officials are meeting every few hours to receive updates on the progress of the spill. They will continue to do so throughout the weekend.