Crist expands state of emergency south to Sarasotaby Dara Kam | May 3rd, 2010
Much of Florida’s west coast is under a state of emergency due to the massive oil spill now less than 50 miles from the Panhandle.
Gov. Charlie Crist expanded the state of emergency beyond the Panhandle to include the Big Bend and Tampa Bay areas.
Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson, Taylor, Dixie, Levy, Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee and Sarasota are now under a state of emergency.
Florida emergency management officials have geared up operations at the state EOC where BP representatives are also on the ground.
BP has hired contractors to lay boom along estuaries and inlets in the Pensacola Bay area but won’t place them along the shoreline, Department of Environmental Protection Phil Wieczynski chief of emergency response said.
“We’re not expecting Exxon-Valdez waves of oil to hit the state of Florida over this spill,” he said.
Instead, Florida’s beaches will likely suffer from light sheen, staining, and tar balls and matts that could be yards long, Wieczynski predicted.
“It might be intermittent, it might be in one county and not the next one,” he said.