Escambia Declares State Of Emergency In Advance Of Oil

May 1, 2010


Escambia County has declared a local state of emergency, as has the State of Florida, in anticipation of an oil slick arriving from the Gulf of Mexico by early next week.

The county has formulated a plan to keep the oil out of bay, bayous and other inland waterways. The plan calls for placing about 30,000 feet of boom stored at Pensacola Naval Air Station to form a barrier in a v-shape to catch the oil at East Pensacola Pass. With additional barriers at Fort McRae and Perdido Pass, oil should be blocked from Pensacola Bay, according to county officials.

The oil blocked by the booms will be collected and skimmed from the surface of the water. The booms would be in place about eight hours per day, and they would be removed when the tide flows out.

The following is the latest information from the Escambia County Emergency Operations Center:

State of Florida

  • A state of emergency was declared by Governor Crist today, Friday, April 30.
  • The state emergency operations center activated to a level 2 today.

Escambia County Board of County Commissioners

  • A local state of emergency was declared by the Board of County Commissioners at an emergency meeting at 2 p.m. Friday, April 30.
  • The emergency operation center will activate to a level 2 on Saturday, May 1 at 9 a.m. CST. This is a minimal activation with only specifically involved agencies activating at that time.

Citizen Information

  • Citizen information phone lines will open at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 1 for questions from residents may have. The number will be (850) 471-6600.

Operation “Clean Sweep”

  • An “Operation Clean Sweep” will be held on the beaches to clean them of any debris before the oil spill reaches the shores to prevent additional contamination. This is a preventative measure that everyone can participate in.
  • On Pensacola Beach, the cleanup will be held Sunday at noon, please meet at the Gulfside Pavilion at Casino Beach.
  • On Perdido Key Beach, the cleanup will also be held Sunday at noon, please meet at the Perdido Key Chamber.
  • Anyone may participate in this pre-cleanup event; please bring your own garbage bags and gloves.

Volunteer Opportunities

  • BRACE, United Way and First Call for Help are organizing volunteers for cleanup after the oil reaches the shores. Please call 595-5905 to register to volunteer. Please call 595-5905 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday to register to volunteer.

Volunteer Training

  • Sign-up to be trained for post-beach clean-up, call 595-5905 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
  • Registration is required for a four-hour health and safety training classes for handling petroleum-contaminated materials.
  • Classes will be held beginning Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Pensacola Civic Center.

Important information

  • Although oil has not yet touched Escambia County shorelines, citizens are asked to stay away from oiled areas and keep a safe distance away from oil containment booms.
  • Report oiled shorelines to 866-448-5816. Report oiled wildlife to 866-557-1401.
  • For more information, see the official Escambia County disaster response site,


14 Responses to “Escambia Declares State Of Emergency In Advance Of Oil”

  1. David Huie Green on May 2nd, 2010 5:51 pm

    “The kink in the drill pipe could be restricting the flow now.”

    Also a good point. On a small scale people stop flow from plastic pipe with a little bitty ram, just a piece of metal which squeezes it against another small piece of metal. The blind rams on the blow out preventers do the same thing if they are working.

    It shouldn’t be a huge problem to lower a similar device to crimp it off completely in the mean time.

    David just thinking of solutions

  2. David Huie Green on May 2nd, 2010 5:47 pm

    “If we cut all this off above the Blow out preventer’s to lower this funel we then could have a much grater flow.”

    True, but the problem is not the flow but the uncontained flow. Even if it flowed more than it is now but were flowing up a pipe to a container, it would not be flowing onto Pensacola Beach.

    Of course, Pensacola Beach is one of the barrier islands. They are there to form a barirer to protect the rest of us from bad weather and oil spills. Good of them.

    I noticed in the paper today some sort of funnel system is being tried. I was hoping I wasn’t the only one thinking along these lines. Of course, if the line is holding up until the very end of the riser, they can put the cap/catcher over that point.

    I also noticed in the paper that they don’t really know how much flow is actually happening, they are just estimating. People have used ultrasonic flow meters for decades now, so it should not be a problem to lower or install a meter on the pipe/riser. We just don’t know, the reporters don’t know what to ask.

    We shall see.

  3. Daniel on May 2nd, 2010 9:34 am

    David, this problem with hemisphere idea. The risor & drill pipe are bent over caused by the rig sinking. The kink in the drill pipe could be restricting the flow now. If we cut all this off above the Blow out preventer’s to lower this funel we then could have a much grater flow.

  4. David Huie Green on May 2nd, 2010 3:46 am

    “create artificial lakes”

    Okay, you made me think of another way to deal with it:

    Large inverted hemisphere or cup shape with some sort of tubing to divert the flow in a directed manner. Lower the massive hemisphere over the existing wellhead. It shouldn’t take all that long and should contain the flow.

    Again, I have no idea what the pressure is but as long as the flow is diverted through the tubing to a tanker on the surface, that should be no problem.
    Additional weight could be added if needed to hold it down, just lots of dirt or concrete, just anything with weight.

    If the existing tubing is still there but in the way and not usable as mentioned before, shaped charges can cut it and get it out of the way.

    It’s an interesting engineering problem.

  5. David Huie Green on May 2nd, 2010 3:40 am

    “Why are we allowing BP to drill another well?”

    If another well is needed to pump down dense drilling mud to stop the flow from the first well, why would you not want that flow stopped?

    We can always use the other option: Let the well flow until it depletes the reservoir. Is that what you want?

    I still don’t know why they can’t get the blow out preventers to work since they are supposed to test them every shift but this is option three for well control. (usually letting the well flow until it is depleted is considered option four or five)

    If the drill string and casing are still intact, option four would be to grab the casing or pipe and raise it up enough to cover it with a larger casing through which to let the petroleum flow into some sort of container rather than just blowing out into the water.

    If it’s blowing out around the casing at the seafloor, that probably wouldn’t work, of course.

    David considering practical solutions and problems

  6. David Huie Green on May 2nd, 2010 3:32 am

    “I’ve heard that the EPA could close the gulf to all seafood harvest for the next 25 years. ”

    Yet they didn’t close off Alaska and that was a much more closed area

  7. Daniel on May 2nd, 2010 12:55 am

    Thats right Bob, most people have no idea what drilling oil & gas wells provide for all of us. I have been drilling oil wells in the gulf for 15 years & have been contracted to drill wells for BP before. BP has high standers for safety compared to others. This incident could have happen to any production company, futher more all drilling & production companies have to meet strict regulations set forth by our Government. MMS inspects all rigs monthly to insure they up to snuff. As long as your dealing with mother nature & human error is a factor their is always a chance of this. There are thousands of oil & gas wells in the gulf that have been drilled without incidents. Karen – the reason for the 2nd well is to kill this one, it may not take 2 months. Trying to hit a 10″ target from a mile or two away is not always easy.

  8. eab on May 1st, 2010 6:49 pm

    Thanks for some level headed comments,Bob. It’s true that anyone who drives a car (or rides in one),heats or cools their home,or uses consumer goods has a hand in this. A few weeks ago, most everyone around supported gulf oil as long as it kept the price of a gallon down.

    We could probably do without that oil if we don’t mind going to $4.00 or $5.00 a gallon now,rather than later, as we surely will. Let’s try to keep sane,use less energy, and work through these tough times to make the equally tough choices that are ahead.

    Screaming and shouting “We’re all gonna die!!” isn’t going to help matters. Keeping clear minds and engaging in reasonable discussion just may.

  9. Thomas on May 1st, 2010 6:27 pm

    i hate this has happen i really do but like what bob said WE HAVE DONE THIS and now we demand it !

  10. Bob on May 1st, 2010 6:24 pm

    Karen; Slow down, the reason we allow this to happen is because we drive autos,we need tires we need shoes we need clothes. ninety percent of all the things you touch on a daily basis is connected to crude oil. That is why we allow drilling and it is never going to stop. At least I hope not. I agree that this is going to be disastrous but the more greedy mankind becomes the greater the likelihood of this happening again. We will work through this as we always have and we will be a stronger people for doing so.

  11. Cheryl on May 1st, 2010 4:57 pm

    Maybe it’s time for Escambia County to create artificial lakes with fishing and boating activities in North Esacambia to make up for the loss of income from the devastated beach. Like Eufala, AL did. We will ALL be devastated if our beaches are destroyed for the next 10-20 years.

  12. Karen Doberman on May 1st, 2010 4:32 pm

    Not to mention property values….Who wants to live on the beach with oil everywhere….

  13. Karen Doberman on May 1st, 2010 4:31 pm

    Drilling a second well to cut off the first?? 3 Months?? It’s going to take more than 3 months for them to drill a new well to cap the first. 3-5 months of oil leaking into the Gulf….. Why are we allowing BP to drill another well……The enviromental impact, species eliminated … and now our toursim, all seafood restruarants, fishing industries, ..any and all businesses on the beach from here to New Orleans….. we will see a lot of folks out of jobs, .people who have fished for generations and don’t know anything else, This will kill the gulf for the next 25-30 years. I’ve heard that the EPA could close the gulf to all seafood harvest for the next 25 years. Why isn’t our government freezing all of BP’s assets? This is a disaster of epic proportion. How could we have allowed this.???

  14. Cheryl on May 1st, 2010 9:09 am

    I’ve heard that if the Gulf Stream flows more northerly into the oil slick area, it could carry it down along the entire west coast of Florida into Key West. It seems if this thing is not stopped for 2-3 months, that could happen without the help of the Gulf Stream. I’m afraid this is the beginning of the end for life as we know it in the entire Gulf of Mexico. Just incredibly horrible.