Rain Helps Clean Up Efforts

Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Rains delayed clean up crews working in the Calcasieu Ship Channel. Although clean up crews were temporarily forced out of the water by the rainfall and safety concerns, the amount of rain falling is actually helping the clean up operation in the long term. “The rain is flushing the oil out of the hard to reach shoreline areas back into the water. But with the clean boom we repositioned yesterday, that oil is going into our collection areas,” said Cmdr. Verne Gifford, Executive Officer of the Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur. “With this amount of rainfall, we’re actually going to be able to recover more oil from the shoreline,” said Gifford, “and the rain is helping to dissipate and evaporate the lighter sheens on the water.” A recreational boating safety zone is still in effect. The zone is to the entrance to the Bayou D’Inde (light 115) and the southern tip of Cypress Point development, down south at the north side at the intersection of the Calcasieu Ship Channel and the Intracoastal Waterway. Moss Lake remains closed.

The temporary Vessel Traffic Service established for the oil spill has been disbanded and local pilots are monitoring commercial ship traffic. Although traffic through the Calcasieu Ship Channel is still restricted to slower speeds, a total of six vessels are scheduled to move in the inbound and outbound directions. All commercial docks have been cleared by the Coast Guard to receive vessels. An estimated 18,119 barrels of oil have been removed from the river, and another 18,025 barrels have been removed from the Indian Marais, as of this afternoon, which brings the total to 36,144 barrels removed to date. CITGO has established a toll-free claims number for the incident. Affected individuals may call 1-800-213-5540 for more information. A separate number has been established for claims related to exterior boat cleaning. That number is 337-708-7177. The cause of the spill remains under investigation.

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