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Crist declares state of emergency in Broward

GULF OF MEXICO - Aerial view of oil being burned from the Deepwater Horizon/BP incident, May 19, 2010. Favorable weather conditions allowed burns to total more than nine hours. The burns are part of an effort to reduce the amount of oil in the water and are part of the joint federal, state and BP effort to aid in preventing the spread of oil following the April 20 explosion on the mobile offshore drilling unit, Deepwater Horizon. U.S Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer John Kepsimelis.

A state of emergency has officially been declared in South Florida. Florida Gov. Charlie Crist declared Broward County, along with Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Monroe Counties in a state of emergency from the BP oil spill on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.

“I found that this event threatens the state of Florida,” said Crist in his executive order. “As the oile continues to spill from the well and all efforts to stop the discharge have failed and may not ucceed for an extended period of time, more counties could be affected.”

Thirteen coastal counties in Florida have already had an emergency declaration, and on Thursday, South Florida joined them.

With tendrils of oil expected to reach around to the Florida Keys by May 26 (according to researchers at the University of South Florida), officials in Florida are ramping up protection efforts to protect our state’s sensitive areas, wildlife, coral reefs as well as the tourism industry from the recent BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Concerns over many vulnerable environmental areas up and down the shoreline has Broward officials preparing resources and contacting cities for any resources such as pumps, booms, skimmers and more, and even put out the call for volunteers and experts interested in helping. Residents who have any resources or skills to clean up oil off Broward’s beaches are asked to call 311 to basically “register” those resources to be called upon if needed.

Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale already has an extensive contingency plan in place to deal with oil because of the large amounts of oil coming in and out of the ports each day, said Broward Mayor Ken Keechl.

A large focus, other than beach/wildlife cleanup would be preventing the oil from entering Broward’s waterways through the port or through the Hillsboro Inlet, which has been widened in recent years to allow more boat passage through its channels into the Intracoastal. It is expected that if oil does get caught up in the stream that both the Port and Inlet could be closed to traffic in order to place booms and other measures to trap the oil before it travels inland. Other areas of concern are the Boca Inlet and Baker’s Haulover on the south end of the county.

Broward County has set up a Webpage to keep up to date on the situation in Broward at: State information is at and is another source.

Report evidence of oil by calling the State Warning Point at 1-877-2-SAVE-FL (1-877-272-8335), or by dialing #DEP from a cell phone. The state will send out trained staff to respond.

Today, Attorney General Bill McCollum sent a letter to BP executives, asking the company to immediately acknowledge its liability for any damages Florida may sustain during the upcoming 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

“A hurricane or tropical storm in the Gulf will significantly increase the environmental damage, as the storm will capture the oil in its path and deposit it much further inland than would occur under normal tidal conditions,” wrote the Attorney General. “In the event of a tropical storm or hurricane, the additional damage caused by the oil contamination must be paid for by BP.”

Attorney General advised BP that should it fail to fulfill its obligation, the Attorney General would if necessary use the full power of his office to ensure that BP and any other liable party live up to their responsibilities under the law.

Related posts:

  1. Oil spill causes state of emergency in Florida
  2. Crist sets oil plan, gets additional $25 million for BP cleanup; emergency loan program
  3. Crist requests Increased Assistance to Prepare for Oil Spill
  4. Oil spill enters the loop current, Broward coastal cities meet to develop emergency plan
  5. Broward preparing for worst-case oil scenario; hoping for best

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Posted by AdamF on May 20 2010. Filed under Broward County, Environmental, Federal Government, Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale, Hollywood, Hurricane season, Lauderdale by the Sea, Local news, Pompano Beach, Tallahassee, Volunteers, Water management. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “Crist declares state of emergency in Broward”

  1. Jack

    That’s just unbelievable that such an oil spill can spread so far and cause so much damage. The worst part of it all is that oil is still continuing to spill…
    -Jack @ Inlet Protection


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