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. clay

    So drilling has been going on in the Gulf for x amount of years, and they have no idea on how to immediately stop a blow out like this, which will ruin miles and miles of coast line, for ever damage the ocean wild life and an already polluted eco system, and ruin lively hoods which we all take advantage of. Well world, smooth move, keep driving those vehicles. All oil CEO's are worried about is how big there bonus will be at the end of the year. Why don't they sink some of that profit in to disaster relief which everyone saw coming at some point. These commercials which are on TV explaining how Oil companies are spending so much money on alternative energy sources is just a lie. Until the higher up stop and take a good look at what is happening to the world we are all doomed. At least we know how the world will eventually end.... it will not be by mother nature.... it will be by us greedy humans....... We are the creators of our own demise. Lets make sure we follow through.

    May 2, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tom

    President Obama doesn't care about white people LOL.

    May 2, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tom

    If BP is allowed to 'slide' as Exxon did................we deserve what we get. When is 'big business' going to be held accountable? Do it NOW or shut the hell up.

    May 2, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. StripedOne

    This tragedy is a prime example of why government regulation can be a good thing. If left to their own devices, large corporations will always take the cheapest route possible – damn the consequences.

    May 2, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Andrew

    There is no such thing as being "energy independent", when it comes to oil. Even if we put 10,000 oil rigs off our shores, it will still all have to go through OPEC, and we'd have to share the oil with the rest of the world. The only advantage is that the oil companies will make trillions of dollars on the new rigs, until the oil runs out, but it will only be a slight advantage for us Americans. Drilling off-shore is not the answer. It's only a temporary solution that can have catastrophic consequences. Moving forward, the focus needs to be put into safe alternatives, and the technology needed to use them. If the uncontrollable disaster in the Gulf right now is not making you change your mind about offshore oil drilling, and the cost of it to the wildlife, the environment, the economy and people's lives, then you seriously need to do some introspection, and figure out how you've become so selfish and so addicted to oil.

    May 2, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. DPC

    @Pat "the industry hadn't had a blowout offshore in 50 yrs., "

    The second worst oil spill in history was the IXTOC 1 blowout event in the Gulf off the coast of Mexico in 1980. 5 million gallons spilled and 5 months to cap it in only 164 ft of water.

    Pat's speculation is no doubt as accurate as his grasp of history.

    May 2, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Brian

    Why hasn't anyone demanded that Obama provide an alibi for the night the rig exploded? i think he personally wired up the rig. But as usual the big left wing media is protecting him and his satanic anti American agenda. I bet there we no black people on the rig that night. I bet they were all warned by the withe house not to report to work. I heard there were white house officials dancing in Central Park after the news of the explosion.

    So, can I run for office yet? How about my own TV show on Fox? I'm good damnit.

    May 2, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. wowlfie

    I fear this oil spill will bankrupt our country if it reaches the Caribbean and beyond. All other nations will sue America if this happens and the cost will be in the trillions.

    May 2, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  9. wowlfie

    If this causes trillions in lawsuits I feel the entire oil industry in the gulf should be taken over by congress to pay for the damages. They are all responsible for this. They all drilled out their knowing full well they didn't have adequate safeguards in an extreme emergency when the regular failsafe equipment itself failed. Hang all the oil industry leaders too.

    May 2, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. StripedOne

    Another thing that ticks me off about this is regardless of the cost of cleaning this mess up and the fines that follow, BP will still end up making a profit from increased crude oil prices. All at the expense of consumers – including the out of work fisherman along the Gulf coast.

    May 2, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. orich1

    @ pat and brian and all the other Obama haters. I love how a tragedy happens and immediately we have idiots who have no clue making comments about how it has something to do with Obama and him taking over the industry. Can you say "MORONS" children. Why not put the blame where it belongs and that is squarely on the oil companies shoulders. Hmmm, let's see. Oil being pumped from 5000 feet down, what we'll you do if there is a problem Mr. Oil Man? "Ohhhh don't worry we have contingency plans. If it happens, we will eventually plug it up even though we really DON'T have a plan, and we may lose some product but we'll just raise prices to ofset our costs and take it right out of the American peoples pockets! In fact, we can spin anything and make it so we actually have increased profits!" And the biggest loss of all is to our environment. And to all of you who think I'm a crazy environmentalist who doesn't want to drill, WRONG! I'm all for it! We will forever be dependant on oil to some extent, remember people, machines don't run unless they are lubricated and oil is a vital component. However, can we at least do it safely and have common sense measures put in place in case something like this happens. Correct me if I'm wrong but at 5000 feet wouldn't seem prudent to put some sort of stop mechanism in place if it all goes up in flames? Ahhhh yes, greed, alive and well in our industries!

    May 2, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Going Crazy

    Sure we need oil (sarcasm) even though we see all kinds of crap running on electricity everyday right in front of our eyes. Sure the technology isn't there yet and grass is pink.

    May 2, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  13. BCase in Ocean Springs, MS

    I just stepped outside and was overwhelmed by the smell..I can't believe this is alright for us to be breathing!

    May 2, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. peggy

    Give those economically affected by this catastrophe a job cleaning it up, with good pay too. At the least it would put food on the table as they have lost their livelihoods for this season. It seems likely that they will need some different skills anyhow as who knows when (and if) fish, oysters, and other sea creatures will recover. BP owes these folks, and they need to give BIG money to efforts to save as much of the threatened wildlife as is possible. They also, as a sanction, must be required to develop a non-proprietary safety plan that, in the event of this sort of calamity happening again, would guarantee to save lives and close the cap on the well within hours of the disaster. It is unconscionable that they did not have a more comprehensive disaster plan and that it will take months to cap this well.

    May 2, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Brian

    Orich 1 says I am an idiot. That confirms to me that I should have my own show on Fox.

    Having settled that, I would like to say that I hope that we the people stand up and put our foot down. We need to hang together both right and left and protect our country from the profiteers who care only about themselves. It really IS that simple. Demand reform or vote them out

    May 2, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
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