Thunderstorms, stuck saw stall BP oil spill cleanup, containment
Efforts to curb the effects of the worst oil spill in US history have hit multiple snags.
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Emergency crews began scouring the beaches for oil and shoring up miles of boom, though choppy waters from thunderstorms could send the oil over the protective lines. County officials are using the boom to block oil from reaching inland waterways but plan to leave beaches unprotected because they are easier to clean up.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures Louisiana oil spill
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The oil has been spreading in the Gulf since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded six weeks ago, killing 11 workers and eventually sinking. The rig was being operated for BP, the largest oil and gas producer in the Gulf.
Allen, the national incident commander for the spill, said the threat of oil hitting the coast was shifting east and skimmer vessels would be working offshore to intercept as much crude as possible.
Earlier this week, BP officials said they were concentrating cleanup efforts in Louisiana because they did not expect oil to reach other states. The company has set up floating hotels on barges to house cleanup crews closer to the Louisiana shores.
In Venice, Louisiana, hundreds of oil response workers were grounded by storms and many local fishermen were sent home early.
More federal fishing waters were closed, too, another setback for one of the region's most important industries. More than one-third of federal waters were off-limits for fishing, along with hundreds of square miles of state waters.
BP has tried and failed repeatedly to halt the flow of the oil, and the latest attempt like others has never been tried before a mile beneath the ocean. Experts warned it could be even riskier than the others because slicing open the 20-inch (51-centimeter) riser could unleash more oil if there was a kink in the pipe that restricted some of the flow.
Bluestein reported from Covington, Louisiana. Associated Press writers Darlene Superville and Pete Yost from Washington, Curt Anderson from Miami, Kevin McGill in Schriever, Melissa Nelson in Pensacola, Floirda, Brian Skoloff in Port Fourchon, Mary Foster in Boothville, and Michael Kunzelman in New Orleans also contributed to this report.