Sunday – May 2, 2010 – Midday:
I wandered down to the beach (it’s a thousand feet away, give or take…) to see what horror has befallen us.
The oil hasn’t arrived on Harrison County beaches yet, at least not in my line of sight. There are numerous pumps and pieces of pipe chained to whatever structure the workers can find, but no booms, no sandbags, nada.
I stood there in the pouring rain (did I forget to mention that it’s raining intermittently?) watching people playing in the water, for probably the last time in quite a while. At least the rain disguised the tears in my eyes.
This could be the disaster that finally puts the nail in the coffin for Coastal Mississippi. We operate on tourism, as feeble as that has become. The economy hemorrhaging on itself was bad enough… now this.
I’m told that the County will shut down all the beaches sometime today, as the oil draws closer to us, carried on the tide.
Tomorrow, we’ll probably start seeing the oily film that will become waves of crude over the next week.
I think REM had it right:
“It’s the end of the world as we know it…”
In the next week, the Southern “Seaboard” will be changed, transformed into a huge toxic spill that stretches from Texas to Florida.
And for months. maybe even years, we’ll be hip deep in crude oil. Ah… if only I were Jed Clampett, because at least then I could find a song to sing on the porch about this.
No more shrimping, no more fishing, no more watching the tourists try to kill each other with rented jet-ski’s and water-bikes. Worse than that, no more pristine wetlands and estuaries still trying to recover from all the hurricane damage.
My heart breaks for Louisiana. LA is the guardian for some of the most fertile and vibrant estuaries and waterways in America. With a shoreline that stretches farther than one could possibly imagine, the damage to the wildlife there, both finned and fowl, will be immense… strike that… horrific.
Time will tell what is to befall us. Until then, we’re all just looking out to sea, holding our breath…