May 2nd, 2010
08:49 AM ET

Roundup: Reports and perspectives on the oil spill

[Update: 4:30 p.m. ET]

CNN All Platform Journalist Patrick Oppmann has this report from Waveland, Mississippi:

There was an eerie stillness to the Mississippi coast as I drove up U.S. 90 on Sunday.

The long stretches of beach were almost entirely vacant, the result of rainy weather and fears that the huge oil slick moving on the Gulf of Mexico will soon foul the coastline.

In Waveland, Mississippi, a single stretch of yellow protective boom could be seen flopping up against the beach as it guarded nothing at all.

A few miles further up the coast were the still-visible scars of Hurricane Katrina.

Outside a chuch under repair from damage caused by the storm nearly five years ago, a hand-painted sign reads: "Katrina didn't beat us."

Locals don't know yet if the oil slick will get the best of them. Gus Harris, the owner of the Cajun Crawfish Shack in Long Beach, Mississippi, is stressed. Almost everything on the menu in his small cinderblock restaurant is locally sourced seafood. Even if the oil slick doesn't decimate shrimp and oyster beds, Harris already is seeing a spike in prices.

He's part of the third generation of his family to live on the Mississippi coast and won't be going anywhere, he said. "I am too mean to quit," Harris said. "If this has to become the Cajun Chicken Shack, so be it."

[Update: 12:52 p.m. ET]

'Apollo 13 effort' under water

Even as officials try to combat and clean up the oil spill in the water and prepare for when it hits land, experts are still trying to fix the problem that started it all. Since the oil rig explosion a week ago, BP says it has been working every possible angle to stop the flow of oil. Bill Salvin, a BP spokesman, tells CNN affiliate WWL that every time they’ve tried to approach the broken valve, they haven’t been able fix the problem. “We know how frustrating that is for people. It’s frustrating for our team, and we’re going to keep on working on this to stop the flow.”

“It’s just an amazing effort, truly an Apollo 13 effort 5,000 feet below the surface of the ocean trying to stop this spill.”

See more about the three primary methods under consideration for stopping the leak

John Woods (left) and Keith Delcambre sort live crawfish.

[Update: 11:26 a.m. ET]

Stocking up and taking stock

PASCAGOULA, MISSISSIPPI – There was a steady stream of customers wading in and out of Bozo's Seafood Market & Deli. The family-owned business is a popular hang out and eatery in Pascagoula. Folks lined up with bags of freshly boiled crawfish and stocked up on oysters and shrimp.

Business may be good, but owner Keith Delcambre is worried about the future if the oil slick hits the coast.

"All I know is seafood," he said while sorting crawfish in small workroom behind the kitchen. "I don't know what we'll do if this hits. It feels like a hurricane is coming, but what can you do to stop oil?"

Down the road, instead of trolling for live bait and dealing with a steady stream of customers, CC's Bait Shop owner Charles Williamson watched as trailer after trailer backed up to the public boat slip to unload booms.

Married with four children, Williamson says he worked in the shipyards for 21 years to save up money to see his dream of owning a live bait shop come true. In 2006, he opened CC's Bait Shop, and by the beginning of the year he had restored his great-uncle's shrimp boat.

"This (oil) would put a stake in my heart, it would finish me off," said Williamson, who grew up working on his uncle's shrimp boat during the summers. "This was my dream; I'll probably have to shut this down."

- CNN's All Platform Journalist Sarah Hoye and Photojournalist Mark Biello are reporting along the Gulf Coast, taking a look at how the locals in Mississippi are preparing for oil to come ashore.

[Update: 9:01 a.m. ET]

Silver lining?

Louisiana shrimpers said that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico could not have come at a worse time - this weekend is the beginning of the shrimping season. One person sees an opportunity, though.

The Rev. Tyrone Edwards tells CNN affiliate WDSU he wants local fisherman involved in cleaning up BP's massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that threatens their livelihood.  “We know that they'll be out of business from fishing. And this is a good way to employ them. So we see this as being a great employment for fisherman, because we see this thing lasting a long time,” Edwards said.

Guarding Lake Pontchartrain

WDSU also reports that work has begun to guard Lake Pontchartrain from a possible threat from the oil spill.

“Let's mobilize. Let's be ready. I feel so bad for what's going on to our friends in South Louisiana, but I cannot let it get into this Lake Pontchartrain Basin,” said St. Tammany Parish President Kevin Davis.

[posted 8:49 a.m. ET] - Gulf Coast residents brace for the arrival of a massive oil slick creeping toward shore.

"Now they're saying we are seeing sheens" hitting the coast, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said Saturday, citing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "But they expect the heavier oil to be coming by tomorrow and Monday."

Children watch boats spread booms along the Pascagoula River in Gautier, Mississippi.

Prep on Pascagoula River

GAUTIER, MISSISSIPPI –  A number of boats and airboats peppered the waters of the Pascagoula River with bright orange booms to prevent the oil slick from reaching the estuaries.

Aimee Gautier Dugger, owner of  "The Old Place" historic family home, stood on the banks of the river to watch. She lives a short walk away.

"We never believed they'd protect this [river], Mississippi isn't thought of," she said, adding that the Gautier family, who settled in Mississippi in the 1600s and for whom the town is named after.  "Emotionally, economically, all of our beings are being affected. This is a big deal."

CNN's All Platform Journalist Sarah Hoye and Photojournalist Mark Biello are reporting along the Gulf Coast taking a look at how the locals in Mississippi are preparing for oil to come ashore.

Previous roundups:
FRIDAY: 'People want to get ready for this, but they don't know what to do' and more stories
SATURDAY: 'This will be catastrophic to the mom and pop businesses' and more stories

Filed under: Gulf Coast Oil Spill
soundoff (87 Responses)
  1. Pat

    This whole thing stinks. As one who works in the industry, I was speaking to a friend in the industry about 4 months ago on Obama opening the east coast and eastern gulf. My comment to him was that the industry hadn't had a blowout offshore in 50 yrs., but mark my words, they will have an incident before these areas are opened! Something to allow the gov't to hold control this country by keeping it in the grasps of an energy crisis. The timing of this incident should awaken everyone to what's going on. I'll bet before the incident is over Obama wants to nationalize the industry. Watch!

    May 2, 2010 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  2. Kat

    How will this effect the "dead zone" which was spreading in the same area? Does anyone know?

    May 2, 2010 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  3. lisa

    I have written in the past regarding the community of Dauphin Island which is located in the state of Alabama. We are about to be hit by the oil in the Gulf and I don't think we will survive it.

    My previous message was in regards to the beach erosion that is threatening to wash the island away. The community is terrified that another hurricane or tropical storm will cause our demise and we have been begging for assistance to rebuild our shoreline.

    Without a proper shoreline we are about to be covered in oil by the wash over.

    We are hoping that this event will bring attention to the fragile state of the Gulf Coast shoreline and encourage the government to provide assistance.

    The island can no longer adequately perform its environmental function as a barrier to the mainland. We are merely a speed bump now that is about to disappear.

    Our hope is that the attention that has been focused on this oil spill will procure funds to rebuild the coast.

    In recent days, the Obama administration has publicly spoken and acknowledged the environmental fragility and importance of the Gulf Coast. This is true with or without an oil spill. Something has to be done to rebuild the coast.

    This is the moment.

    In light of this terrible event, something good can be done for a community that just keeps getting hit. Without help we will not recover.

    A rebuilt shoreline allows the community to weather these tragedies as it provides a buffer to the homes, businesses and environmentally fragile areas.

    May 2, 2010 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  4. DW

    Blaming Obama?? Wasn't "drill-baby-drill" the Replublican slogan?

    May 2, 2010 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  5. don

    I would like to see who colected lobby money to vote against the type of blowout preventer that could be opperated by remote. A CNN story said "every other country uses them but us" . I love the gulf coast. I am a sport fisherman. I feel for all businesses on the coast. This will affect things for years to come.

    May 2, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  6. Margi

    This is a hard hit for ALL involved not just those on the coast, but those who were on the rig lost and those who are still working on the rigs in the Gulf. Everyone needs to work together to find a solution to the problem. Better industry standards and a community working together to get it cleaned up. Using this as an opportunity to get laws pasted, employ people in the cleanup process. We need this oil and the money to STAY IN the US stop sending our money OVER SEAS and into the HANDS of our ENEMIES. Our country is too dependant on gas and oil and we need to find safe ways to keep the jobs in US. Instead of lawsuits and blame games, work together and fix the problem, not fight about. I hate that the ocean and the people of the South will suffer from this tragedy but we must keep oil in the US to have the opportunity for an increase in employment rates. I am personally attached to the Horizon and the DDIII and pray for their safety everyday. I also eat from the Gulf weekly, so I understand the impact, but there are solutions to every problem and it isn't always in a lawsuit!

    May 2, 2010 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  7. dan

    All these problems we are seeing today are coming from unchecked businesses. Health insurance providers,the financial sector, mine operators, car manufacturers, food producers, and now this huge oil spill maintained by BP. Seems like we are giving big business a free hand to do anything and we are reaping the benefits.

    May 2, 2010 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  8. gjl

    I feel for the people down there, but why is that everytime something happens we want to know what the government is going to do? When is the "local" government going to use the tax monies that are being paid by us to be proactive and stop lining their pockets. We can't wait on the government to fix everything - that is like say when is the city or county going to fix my roof when it starts leaking - i live there, I am held responsible, the Fed government can't be responsible for everything that happens in the world. And what's with suing BP? If it could be proven it was due to a safety issue that they could have prevented then yes they should be held responsible to pay for the clean up. Anything that is made by man is bound to "FAIL" at some point in time. Stop the blame game and start the "fix", people are hurting down there.

    May 2, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  9. PSW

    This comment is for PAT. You are a fool. Here we are having the worst oil spill since the Exxon Valdez, and you are already making a conspiracy theory that involves Obama. The reason that this oil spill ocurred was because of corporate greed that prevented the proper safety measures from being used. Furthermore, as long as this country keeps sucking down oil, we will continue to have these tragedies because the oil companies will continue to evade safety measures which they deem too costly. Big oil thinks that oil spills are worth the risk so they won't have to spend the money to upgrade their rigs. For the morons on this board who think drilling for more oil is the answer to energy independence, get it through your thick skulls that ecological disasters are GUARANTEED when greed is involved The only answer is wind, solar, biodiesel, ethanol, wave power, ultracapacitors, hydrogen cells, and I could go on and on and on. And for the posters afterwards that claim, "the technology isn't ready", start educating yourself beyond your gas tank. Oil WILL run out, and we can either begin harnessing and perfecting the technology or we can do what the oil heads want and remain tied to oil until its too late.

    May 2, 2010 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  10. samanta

    i for one feel sorry for the birds only the ppl that live there want drill baby drill so i dont want any off my tax money going too help the only ppl that should get help is the 11 familys that lost some one for them i have no problem to give all my tax money so they can start there life agine after the lost, and too say that this is bigger the katrina is joke how many ppl died then and how many died now bec they didnt get help??? is rats eating on a body that is died on the street ????? no so dont even go there saying this like katrina this is bp problem and the ppl in the south that want to have oil drill and not go green ...

    May 2, 2010 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  11. Carlos

    Spill baby spill!

    Look at all the peasants who still support these capitalist democrat/republican clowns!

    May 2, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  12. maggie

    i live in biloxi, mississippi right on the beach! this sucks what me and friends spend our weekends doing and our restaurants who depend on the seafood is going to hell because of this oil spill! I really want to go drive down the beach one last time before it is never the same

    May 2, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ryan

    Man, I don't know if those people down in Louisiana and Mississippi can take any more disasters!

    May 2, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. usafirefly

    Knowing the potential hazards of oil platforms, WHY isn't redundancy built into the systems, i.e. a second drilling in case...we spend billions to all of them and they can't do what's right! Unbelievable what big business has and hasn't done to all of us.

    May 2, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
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