Some residents along the Gulf coast are expressing guarded optimism Thursday as BP plans to start pouring cement into its crippled well and the government reports that about 74 percent of the oil spilled into the Gulf since April has been cleaned up.
"We're cautiously optimistic that this is the beginning of the end," Deano Bonano, the director of Homeland Security for Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, told CNN's "American Morning." But he added a note of skepticism, saying it's "certainly not the end."
There are still several steps to go to permanently kill the well. The cementing set to begin Thursday will be the next phase of the "static kill," a process designed to drive oil back into the well reservoir. In the first phase of that procedure Tuesday, BP sent 2,300 barrels of heavy drilling mud down the well.