Oil from BP Spill to Hit Pensacola Beach

US News, Florida: Pensacola Beach, source Wikimedia

Residents of Pensacola Florida are waiting for the imminent arrival of oil from the worst oil spill in US history. There are reports of surface oil just a few miles from the beach. The government of Florida spent much of the month of May putting out the word that it's beaches were oil free and open for business. Efforts must now be shifted to cleaning up the oil that is fast approaching the west coast of the state.

The oil has been accumulating and drifting in the Gulf of Mexico ever since April 22nd. That is the day that a $560 Million oil rig licensed to BP sank. 11 workers had died as the result of a massive explosion two days before. Florida will be the third US State to suffer environmental damage as a result of this oil spill. The oil is still leaking from the ocean floor at a rate of more than 10,000 barrels per day.

Escambia's deputy chief of neighborhood and community services, Keith Wilkins, is quoted on NewsOxy as saying"It's inevitable that we will see it on the beaches." Other officials have been downplaying the likely impact and pointing to massive efforts to prevent serious damage. There is a giant V-shaped floating boom off the shore of Pensacola that is intended to direct surface oil to a point where it can be collected by skimmer boats.