Monday, March 21, 2011

DI mayor told there is minor leak in gulf

DI mayor told there is minor leak in gulf

Updated: Sunday, 20 Mar 2011, 9:51 PM CDT
Published : Sunday, 20 Mar 2011, 4:32 PM CDT

* Renee Dials
* Photojournalist: Michael Reedy

DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. (WALA) - Mayor Collier said he was e-mailed information from two sources by a member of Dauphin Island's chamber about a possible leak in the gulf. One source was from upstate Alabama and the other was from a Coast Guard source.

"I received notification last night via email that there had been another leak or spill in the Gulf of Mexico," Dauphin Island Mayor Jeff Collier said Sunday.

That was not the news Collier wanted to hear at the start of the spring tourist season.

According to the mayor the leak was discovered in about 200 feet of water in the gulf near last years BP oil spill site.

"It seems to be rather minimal at this particular time. It looked like maybe a barrel per hour, created some sheening on the gulf in that area, and apparently divers were going down in that area to try to shut it off," Collier said.

BP has completed most of the deep cleaning on Dauphin Island. The mayor said there is a five mile area west of Katrina Cut that is left. BP had to postpone the clean up in that area because of the nesting season for some of wild life in that area.

"We don't need this kind of thing to happen anytime, let alone we're getting ready right now to ramp up for spring and summer season and this is something that could be very harmful to us having a good season, and everybody a little bit on edge anyway," Collier said.

Some visitors on the beach Sunday heard about the possible new leak.

Paulie Myers agrees a new leak could hurt beach business.

"Why sure. It kept people away last year from it. Nobody wants to swim in oil, or have it on them," Myers said.

John Kost moved to Dauphin Island six months ago. He's not surprised to hear reports of more oil in the gulf. He says it's inevitable.

"I think all the oil sank and there wasn't much of it that washed on shore. It's still out there and it needs to be recovered and cleaned," Kost said.

But, Mayor Collier is remaining optimistic.

"I'm hoping this is going to be something that's going to be rather minimal and they can take care of it quickly, and reassure everybody that everything is fine," Collier said.

The Coast Guard has still not confirmed the oil spill. They said in a news release Saturday they are investigating something in the Gulf of Mexico.

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