Well, it has happened and the oil spill has reached the coastline.
The National Weather Service predicted winds, high tides and waves through Sunday that could push oil deep into the inlets, ponds and lakes that line the boot of southeast Louisiana. Seas of 6 to 7 feet were pushing tides several feet above normal toward the coast, compounded by thunderstorms expected in the area Friday.
Crews are unable to skim oil from the surface or burn it off for the next couple of days because of the weather, Coast Guard Rear Adm. Sally Brice-O'Hara said on ABC's "Good Morning America."
Waves may also wash over booms strung out just off shorelines to stop the oil, said Tom McKenzie, a spokesman for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is hoping booms will keep oil off the Chandeleur Islands, part of a national wildlife refuge.
"The challenge is, are they going to hold up in any kind of serious weather," McKenzie said. "And if there's oil, will the oil overcome the barriers even though they're ... executed well?"
The spewing oil, about 210,000 gallons a day, comes from a well drilled by the rig Deepwater Horizon, which exploded in flames April 20 and sank two days later. BP was operating the rig that was owned by Transocean Ltd. The Coast Guard is working with BP to deploy floating booms, skimmers and chemical dispersants, and set controlled fires to burn the oil off the water's surface. But with the weather not cooperating, who knows when that will begin.
Sadly, over 400 varieties of wildlife are expected to be affected by this disaster, as well as the fishing industry and the ecosystem as a whole. Will anything be learned from this? We'll see. At least Obama has put a stop to any additional offshore drilling for now.
By the way...the picture above is of a bird dying.