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Tropical Storm Bonnie and the Oil Spill

by admin on July 23rd, 2010

While TS Bonnie races across Florida and towards the open Gulf, citizens and business interests across the Gulf have to start making tough decisions. Retired Coast Guard Thad Allen probably had the toughest decisions to make as he pondered what to do with the crippled Macondo well, and the vast flotilla of ships working on the oil spill. As of right now he has begun limited evacuations that have put a stop to the drilling of the relief well, and a permanent end to the leaking well bore, but has said that he believes that he can have most of the operation back on track after just 48 hours of the storm passing. Others involved in the operation have given time lines as long as two weeks to get everything up and running again.

In another tough decision, Allen and scientists from BP and the Government have decided to leave in place a pressure cap that has effectively stopped any oil from leaking into the Gulf since last Thursday. The pressure on the well will be monitored remotely and the ROV’s scouring the sea bed for signs of fissures or ruptures will be the last ships to leave and the first ones to return promises Allen.

In less far reaching but still difficult decisions Florida and other States along the Gulf are mulling what to do about the hundreds of miles of boom that had been put in place. Florida has already pulled much of theirs , as it will be ineffective against the forecast 2 to 4 foot seas, and 40 to 50 mph winds. Alabama and Mississippi are expected to come to the same decision.

On Grand Isle, on what should have the the biggest weekend of the year for the beleaguered little island, local officials were trying to decide what to do with about the Island Aid festival which had been promoted to replace the world famous Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo, the roads and bridges in and out of Grand Isle are very low, and narrow, and evacuation there generally start many days in advance of approaching weather. Leann Rimes, Three Dog Night, Little River Band and others had been scheduled to play a relief concert starting tomorrow afternoon.

Fort Pickens Beach in the Florida Panhandle is closed due to expected road flooding, and many other closed signs will go up in areas that flood easily all along the coast this weekend as Tropical Storm Bonnie pulls out into the Gulf. This will hurt many beach communities already suffering the vast amount of curtailed tourist traffic brought by the oil spill. This is one of the last weekends before school start back up in many part of the Gulf South, and is usually a very busy vacation weekend.

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