May 13th, 2010
12:01 PM ET

Making a mountain to stop the oil

See this island? It wasn't here yesterday.

The Louisiana National Guard poured in tons of sand and rock to fill a 700 foot gap in a barrier island to stop the oil from reaching the estuaries.

The gap was the result of hurricane damage in Elmer's Island, just across the bridge from Grand Isle.

Filled in, the island will now be a part of the last line of defense in Louisiana's scramble to protect it's ecologically sensitive coast. The area is also an important breeding ground for shrimp.

"It's ecologically and economically very important to the local community," Lt. Kyle Galloway told CNN.

soundoff (338 Responses)
  1. Joe Simpson

    Take a barge near the site, load it with concrete, sink it with major cabling attached and drag it over the hole, towed by ships above. The weight of the barge should easily clear any debris it might need to push out of the way to cover the hole. May not be the best sealant job long term, etc., but should definitely buy a lot of time, etc. Just sayin'

    Joe S.

    May 13, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Charlotte Hoaks

    With all these comments I've decided I can be a brain surgeon since people with no engineering skill seem to be able to solve the BP problem with little to no thought....

    May 13, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. MCW

    Michael Ellis – I think that's what the containment dome was supposed to do – a pipe was to be attached to the top of it to funnel out the oil but the hydrate problem nixed that

    May 13, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. LazyDad

    The only thing that could be more fun than reading these comments would be to get all of you together in one room and provide free beer.

    May 13, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Insipral2

    Post #68 is the fix...as of 10 days ago a friend has a pending patent and is in contact with Exxon, who this operation was outsourced to by BP...after containment you can then remediate by drilling the second well with pouring concrete etc...

    May 13, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Chenz66

    What about crushing the pipe to stop the flow? Your lowering these steel and concrete boxes to cap the flow. Crush the dam pipe under it's weight.

    May 13, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Steve

    Why don't you use those big ships that drop sand to build a big island or sand barrier directly in the affected zone? And cover the thing with a new small island? I am talking about those ships that drop sand into the water, the ones that use to build big islands in the middle of the ocean in DUBAI!!!??

    May 13, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. MCW

    How many of the thousand folks that BP, Transocean, Cameron and the rest of the gang do y'all think are monitoring this thread for possible solutions – if any of them are lifted I propose we form a class and sue their pants off for credit and some huge consultancy fee..oh my gravy, are we gonna be rich!

    May 13, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  9. inspiral

    LazyDad. That made me laugh. Have to go now it is getting late here, i will check out the comments in the morning. Thanks all especially wizzard.

    May 13, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. dreyer

    Someone mentioned a tampon. Sorta what I was thinking. A large blader of sorts. It goes into the pipe then gets filled with water (not too sure how much pressure and what the thicknees is of the pipe). Just a thought...

    May 13, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Clif

    OK. Lots of ideas and reasons that they won't work. I doubt that anyone who can actually do anything will read this, but here goes...

    Why not build a clamshell blow-out preventer? Lower the two halves and position them on opposite sides of the pipe, bolt them together and clamp off the leak.

    Too bad the original BOP didn't do what it was designed to do. We had better figure out how many more might be out there that also won't work if the time does come.

    This needs to be solved now and for all of the other wells out there, now and future. Waiting for a disaster to formulate a plan is what will doom us all.

    May 13, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. steve

    @227 – actually I mentioned it a long time ago.
    Post #59...

    If (when) a hurricane hits the gulf it's going to be even more of a disaster. I can 't even bring myself to think of it.

    May 13, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Frank

    "Burn! Baby Burn!"
    The idiomatic source of "Drill! Baby Drill!"
    Expressing a disregard for consequences.

    Of course the Republicans should be blamed! Their goals have been the deadly combination of:
    A) Reduce Government oversight and regulation–partly why the Minerals Management Service is anything but a "tough cop on the beat," and
    B) Tort "Reform," and all manor of liability limitations written into law.

    And now, efforts to raise or remove the liability cap, which now only requires BP to pay for only a fraction of the damage, seem likely to fail, given legal restrictions on ex-post-facto assessments.

    May 13, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. MCW

    to engineer and test some type of clamshell BOP would take some serious time...even in the future after this leak is addressed, there won't be any economic incentive for doing it given the extremely specialized application

    May 13, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. steve

    @Post 227 – Steve
    Aside from the nice name, it wouldn't work.

    Dubai is making islands in shallow water. This thing is 5000 feet down. Totally different beast.

    May 13, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
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