Harrison Co. leaders "still diligent & still watching" oil slick - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Harrison Co. leaders "still diligent & still watching" oil slick


By Steve Phillips – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Harrison County leaders are "watching and waiting" to see when and if the oil slick will impact our shoreline.

County supervisors received a briefing from emergency managers at Monday's board meeting. All 26 miles of sand beach in Harrison County is clean, oil free and open for visitors.

County EOC director Rupert Lacy sounded "cautiously optimistic" at the board meeting.

"We are seeing kind of the drift, going toward the west, more over toward Louisiana. We still have of course oil that is mixing into the gulf, and as of today, this moment, we have no oil that is in Mississippi waters," Lacy told supervisors.

Emergency Manager Lacy said it is still a "wait and see" along our shoreline. Shifting winds, now coming from the south-southeast are not as favorable.[

"Of course, the weather service is very concerned about that. Because that will start to bring tides back in a little bit more, create a little more wave action and force. There's a lot of product that's in the water. We're seeing the sea surface sides of it, but we don't know what's below the surface. And of course, that has us concerned," said Lacy.

"Once it reaches Mississippi waters, the first people to work will be Mississippi people," said Supervisor Kim Savant. "I think there's about 500 out of state folks that BP brought in that are sitting in hotel rooms somewhere, watching TV. Because the governor said they weren't going to work until Mississippi people went to work. And I applaud him for that."

"The one thing we don't know is the oil that's below the surface," said Sand Beach Director Bobby Weaver. "We would hope that it would be kind of contained in the general vicinity of where the slick is. It's kind of unusual, you had some tar balls come up on Dauphin Island, but yet no oil slick, so you're not sure how the tar balls are traveling."

Harrison County has received several "false alarm" reports about oil or tar balls washing ashore along the beach.  In one instance, it turned out to be the charred remains of a weekend bon fire on the beach.

"We're still diligent. We're still watching. If things start to come inshore, then we'll have to ramp up and address those issues," said Weaver.

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