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Broward mayor meets with Sen. LeMieux on oil spill preparations

Broward County Mayor Ken Keechl and staff brief U.S. Senator George LaMieux on possible impact from Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and the 2010 Hurricane season. June 2, 2010 (From left to right: Chuck Lanza, BC Emergency Management Director; U.S. Senator George LeMieux; Broward County Mayor Ken Keechl; Nicki Grossman, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau Director.)

Mayor Ken Keechl briefed U.S. Senator George LeMieux on Broward County’s preparations for the possibility of oil contamination from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico and provided an overview of what’s expected now that hurricane season has begun.

“These are the top two immediate possible threats facing Broward County. The experts tell us to expect minimal impact from the oil spill,” said Mayor Keechl. “The hurricane experts tell us conditions exist for an active hurricane season. As always our message is get prepared now.”

Members of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill working group that Mayor Keechl organized last month noted that the oil is now drifting closer to beaches in the Florida Panhandle. “The coast is clear in South Florida,” said Nicki Grossman, director of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. “But if people hear that oil is affecting beaches on the west coast, visitors won’t necessarily know that it’s hundreds of miles away from Fort Lauderdale and that could impact our economy.”

“There is the possibility that Broward County will see an increase in the number of tar balls that wash to shore if a substantial amount of oil gets into the Loop Current. Daily cleaning of our beaches may be enough to handle that problem. There’s also the possibility any contamination would stay offshore and bypass us altogether,” said Mayor Keechl.

Senator LeMieux noted that volunteers throughout Florida stand ready to assist in any clean up, but voiced concern about federal regulations that require five hours of training. “I don’t think people have to fear a tar ball,” said Senator LeMieux. “I will work with federal agencies to ease restrictions if they discourage people from volunteering or prevent willing volunteers from assisting in cleanup efforts.”

Broward County Emergency Management Director Chuck Lanza briefed the Senator on the 2010 hurricane outlook. “The water temperature is very warm and conditions exist for an active hurricane season. That doesn’t necessarily mean that a hurricane will occur. It does mean that people need to prepare, with enough food and water to last at least 72 hours.”

This is the second briefing that Mayor Keechl and Broward County staff have given to elected officials representing Broward County. U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, Congresswoman Diana Wasserman-Schultz and Congressman Ted Deutch visited the Broward County Emergency Operations Center on May 10. Mayor Keechl also brought mayors from Broward County’s Coastal Cities together for a meeting on May 21.

Related posts:

  1. New mayor, vice mayor of Broward; former mayor addresses current state of Broward County
  2. Oil spill causes state of emergency in Florida
  3. Monthly update from Broward Mayor Ken Keechl
  4. Crist requests Increased Assistance to Prepare for Oil Spill
  5. Health care bill update from Senator LeMieux

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Posted by AdamF on Jun 2 2010. Filed under Broward County, Federal Government, Fort Lauderdale, Local news. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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