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Don’t PANIC!

While there are tarry blobs of oil coming out of that well, the leading edge of the leak is going to be a iridescent sheen on the water. Some of the oil is red, as is seen in aerial photos of the slick, but the mass of it is milky colored because it has emulsified, like a well-shaken bottle of oil-vinegar salad dressing. The emulsified oil may not look as bad as the black sludge, but it will kill fish by coating their gills and kill you if you drink it, just like the sludge.

Who you gonna call?

  • To report oil on shoreline or request volunteer information: Call (866) 448-5816 or e-mail deepwaterhorizonresponse@hotmail.com.
  • To report oiled wildlife, please call (866) 557-1401 and leave a message. Messages will be checked hourly. Individuals are urged not to attempt to help injured or oiled animals, but to report any sightings to the toll free number.
  • BP has established a claim system that will allow people to begin the process to recover lost income or recoup damage-related expense at (800) 440-0858.

This is like Hurricane Elena in 1985 that cruised parallel to the coast going East, and then reversed course and made another pass towards the West. The waiting was almost as bad as the resulting landfall.


1 Steve Bates { 05.05.10 at 10:04 am }

Thanks for the numbers, Bryan.

Aggrieved parties, whatever you do in your interactions with BP, do not sign away your right to sue for further damages. At this point, we don’t know how bad it will become, but you want compensation for all the harm… and there are reports that BP is already attempting to get fishermen to sign away their rights, under the pretext of helping them apply for compensation sooner. Good luck, and take your lawyers with you.

2 Bryan { 05.05.10 at 4:17 pm }

They included the damn waiver in the forms boat owners had to sign to be hired for the clean up, Steve. BP is scum, like all other large corporations.

3 JuanitaM { 05.06.10 at 5:31 pm }

Hi Brian: After hearing about the severity of the spill, I thought I’d just check in on you and see how it was going down the Florida way. Just heard a few minutes ago that the oil had reached the Chandeleur islands off the coast of Louisiana. This is bad. Real bad.

As for corporations as large as BP, they keep a squad of attorneys in a deep dungeon (aging like cheese, I suppose) working day and night to protect the interests of these large corporations. Individuals don’t have a chance.

Wishing all you guys on the coast a little good luck for a change, Brian. This really does fall under the category of “one d*mn thing after another”.

4 Bryan { 05.06.10 at 7:49 pm }

Hey, Juanita

Y’all have had some rain along the ridge line, I hope you were high enough to stay dry.

The problem with polluting the islands is that they are held in place by plants, and if the plants die, the next storm eliminates them as a barrier to mitigate storm surge. They are also nesting grounds for sea birds and turtles, so that will be lost too. Even if it doesn’t come ashore the oil is killing sea life, so a lot of people are going to see their livelihoods disappear.

There’s no doubt that BP isn’t going to willingly give up a dime. It is going to be a long hard slog, that many people just can’t afford.

5 JuanitaM { 05.07.10 at 7:18 pm }

Bryan: I really do know that you spell your name with a “y”, but for some reason I keep putting that darn “i” in there. Since I’m usually quite particular about spelling, I’m beginning to get on my own nerves.

Anyway, yep, we got some rain but luckily nothing like the Tennessee crowd. In fact, we’ve been drying out nicely the last few days.

One question for you. I’m curious about officials urging the public not to help the wildlife. I get that injured animals can be problematic, but any ordinarily sensible person should be able to prepare for that, I mean as long as it’s not a whale or whatnot. My thinking is that by the time all this oil gets to the coastlines, officialdom will be overwhelmed with injured and oiled wildlife. Wouldn’t you think unofficial help would be better than no help?

6 Bryan { 05.07.10 at 8:06 pm }

BP has given a contract to a group in Delaware and wants everyone to use them, but the local rescue groups have already said “stuff that” and are continuing to do what they do.

We have our own little marine show, the Gulfarium, and that’s were the larger animals, the dolphins and large sea turtles, are treated as they have the staff and facilities that do this all year.

No one down here who would take the trouble to call, would let an animal in distress sit around waiting for a call to a 1-800 number to bring a response, when they can call the sheriff and have an experienced person show up quickly,

The local groups have already put out a call for supplies and things like inflatable backyard pools to contain what gets washed off the critters.

My former vet [he’s retired now] was on Animal Planet for a surgery to remove an arrow from a migratory bird. There is a lot of training and experience down here, and those people are not going to stay at home if there is an animal in trouble.

7 JuanitaM { 05.07.10 at 8:43 pm }

Well, it’s good to know that there are just as many renegades in Florida as there are in these ‘yere mountains! 🙂

Glad to hear they’ve contracted with this Delaware company to organize some of the work. But, like you said, if it hits the coastlines heavily the way some scientists are suggesting, the really heavy lifting will be done by people on the spot. It’s just going to take too many people for one company to oversee. The company from Delaware might be overwhelmed quickly it it comes to that.

BP just seems to be going about so much of this completely backwards. Not that I know anything at all about oil spills really, but apparently that doesn’t stop me from having an opinion. I mean, couldn’t they have found a company somwhere ON the gulf coasts to do this work. Don’t know, maybe there isn’t one.

Anyway, good luck to all you folks (and critters, too).

8 Bryan { 05.07.10 at 9:52 pm }

They aren’t renegades, Juanita, most if not all are recognized by their states [they are in Florida] and have ties to state universities. The leaders may be retired, but many are retired marine biologists and vets. If BP had contacted any of the state fish and wildlife services they would have gotten a list of the approved groups, who do work together when there are major problems.

Most of New Orleans’ marine mammals from the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas stayed at the Gulfarium after Katrina. The Gulfarium is a for-profit business, but people won’t visit if they are jerks, so they aren’t jerks.

We are talking about our survival here, so people are going to do whatever it takes. If you have been through hurricanes on the coast you know you can’t wait around for someone else.

Up in your area, if there’s a cave in you don’t have to tell people to go and bring a shovel and pick if you have them.

9 JuanitaM { 05.09.10 at 9:30 am }

Yeah, I really do understand that these are talented people. Mostly I was poking a little jab at BP. Heading to Delaware to contract with a group instead of working with the groups on the spot in the Gulf area.

10 Bryan { 05.09.10 at 1:44 pm }

I must assume that BP wants to make life as miserable as possible for the politicians who support drilling in the Gulf, because they have managed to anger nearly everyone on the coast with the way they have been handling this mess. They keep giving contracts to outside groups that don’t know anything about the area, and they keep talking to the wrong people to get things done.

BP told Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, Alex Sink, to call a 1-800 number when she called about a problem. The Governor, Attorney General, Chief Financial Officer, and Commissioner of Agriculture are the only offices elected state-wide; they are the cabinet of Florida. Not knowing that, or the fact that she is running for Governor, is a major screw-up. She signs the checks, so people don’t show disrespect.