Jackson Co. leaders say changes will make cleanup more efficient - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Jackson Co. leaders say changes will make cleanup more efficient


By Krystal Allan – bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Large tar patties washed up along Lake Mars Landing in Jackson County on Sunday.  

"Some of them ranged from four to five feet in diameter down to quarter or fifty piece sizes.  The average in thickness was about a quarter to half inch thick," said Butch Loper, liaison for Jackson County Emergency Management.

Clean-up crews arrived on the scene sometime early afternoon, according to Loper. Though clean-up crews arrived, Loper said it took longer than the 30 minute to one hour time frame they were told crews should arrive to clean up. He pointed to the need for changes to make the process work more efficiently.

"There has to be a unified command system placed within the jurisdiction of Mississippi, because we've got to increase our response time to this for us to battle this thing," Loper said.

Loper said the clean-up will be a little different at Belle Fontaine beach compared to the effort that got underway at Lake Mars Landing.  At Belle Fontaine, mostly tar balls washed ashore.

"It's really going to take more workers, because it's all 100 percent shoreline clean-up and that's where you should see a bigger concentration of people," Loper said.

By the end of next week, Loper said there should be ten additional skimmers working the area to help combat the oil.

Harrison County's Emergency Management  Director Rupert Lacy said cleanup crews will scoop up some of the oil using what's being called a "goo gobbler."  It is a type of skimmer.  The skimmer has a drum which adheres to oil, the oil is then collected and stored on board the vessel.    

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