Tropical Storm Alex Could Disrupt Gulf Cleanup, Send More Oil Ashore
June 26, 2010
(ChattahBox)—Mother nature may pose the worst threat to the cleanup and oil containment operations in the Gulf. Tropical Storm Alex is looming in the Caribbean ready to pounce within 36-hours, but forecasters predict the storm could take a different track over the weekend, missing BP’s sunken Deepwater Horizon well. Still, officials are proceeding with an “abundance of caution.” And if the storm nears the Gulf region, an evacuation order for workers and ships will be given, leaving the broken well to gush uncontrollably for the duration.
Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, is closely monitoring weather reports. “Of course we are watching that very closely right now,” he said. Spill responders will act “out of an abundance of caution, said Allen” adding that cleanup personnel and could move “in advance of a declaration” from weather authorities.
BP spokesman David Nicholas, said “The safety of the people is paramount.”
If an emergency response to the threatening tropical storm is activated, the containment dome would be removed, along with the underwater robots. And the entire flotilla of 6,000 ships would be removed from the scene. The drilling for the two relief wells would also cease, until the storm let up.
And the winds from the storm could leave more crude oil muck on the Gulf beaches, adding to the cleanup headaches.
“High winds and seas could distribute the oil — still gushing from a blown deepwater well — over a wider area while storm surges could wash more oil ashore, according to a fact sheet prepared by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.”