Winds Push Oil Slick Toward Louisiana Coast
On Sunday, Louisiana coastline communities from Venice to Buras braced themselves for the winds that are expected to blow an oil slick towards their shores.
The oil is gushing unchecked from a ruptured deepwater well about 42 miles off the Louisiana coast and is being pushed northward by heavy but shifting winds.
The oil is approaching parts of the Louisiana coast.
Local residents are watching the weather closely and are aware of the impact any shift could have on their livelihood.
[Patrick Hue, Oil Cleanup Worker and Shrimper]:
"The wind is bad. It is helping us, you know, with the oil spill keeping it off of us but for how long? You know. I mean once this all dies down, where the oil is going to go, nobody really knows except for the weather people maybe. We are just waiting, holding the fort down and hoping for the best, you know.”
The Gulf is also one of the world's most fertile seafood grounds, teeming with shrimp, oysters, mussels, crabs and fish. It supports a 1.8 billion dollar industry, second only to Alaska.
If the oil reaches the area's shrimp and oyster filled waters, there will be more work for workers like Hue.
During last year's brutal shrimp season, Hue spent more time mopping up oil than he did catching shrimp.
Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida have all declared states of emergency.
Shrimpers, fishermen and local residents in several states have rushed to file lawsuits against the companies that operated the rig.