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CHARLIE CRIST - Governor
SECRETARY MICHAEL W. SOLE - Florida Department of Environmental Protection
DAVID HALSTEAD- State Coordinating Officer
MEDIA ADVISORY: SATURDAY, MAY 29, 2010
CONTACT: PUBLIC INFORMATION (ESF 14): (850) 921-0217
FLORIDA DEEPWATER HORIZON RESPONSE MAY 29, 2010
TALLAHASSEE – Under the leadership of Governor Charlie Crist, the State Emergency Response Team and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) are actively coordinating and responding to the Deepwater Horizon incident.
The following is a summary of state and BP response actions to date, as well as tips for residents and visitors to take precautions both pre and post-landfall.
• Currently, there have been no confirmed oil impacts to Florida’s more than 1,260 miles of coastline and 825 miles of sandy beaches.
• Winds/currents continue to keep the plume away from the Florida coast for at least the next 72 hours.
• Latest observations by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) indicate that a small portion of the oil slick has reached the Loop Current in the form of light sheens. Florida continues to monitor the location of the loop current based on NOAA’s daily projections.
• Currents in the Gulf have formed an eddy, a circular current, which may cause the loop current to pinch off at the Florida straits and move oil to the west. Learn more at the NOAA website.
• Impacts to Florida’s coastline, if any, could include tar balls, oil sheen or tar mats. If oil is sighted on Florida’s coastline report it to the State Warning Point at 1-877-2-SAVE-FL (1-877-272-8335) or by dialing #DEP from most cell phones.
On Site Actions:
• Current projections estimate Deepwater Horizon’s discharge at 12,000 to 19,000 barrels per day. Learn more at www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com...
• BP continues to evaluate numerous options to contain the oil discharge and is continuing efforts to drill a relief well.
• On May 26, 2010 BP began pumping “top kill,” heavy drilling mud, followed by cement, into the leaking well to stop the oil discharge. That effort is ongoing.
• The State Emergency Operations Center remains activated at a Level 2 or Partial activation.
• On May 28, Governor Charlie Crist issued Executive Order 10-115, authorizing two free fishing weekends to help draw visitors to the Sunshine State. Both residents and nonresidents in Florida can fish for saltwater species around the state without a license during the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, May 29 to May 31, and the weekend of June 5 and 6, which is the first weekend after the popular red snapper season opens in the Gulf on June 1, 2010. All other fishing rules apply.
• On May 25, Governor Charlie Crist announced Florida’s receipt of $25 million from BP for Visit Florida and local tourist development councils to air a tourism marketing campaign. Governor Crist also announced the finalization of a Memorandum of Understanding between the State of Florida and BP. Learn more at: www.dep.state.fl.us...
• Governor Charlie Crist has issued three Executive Orders since April 30, 2010 declaring a state of emergency in 26 coastal counties that may see impacts.
• DEP issued an Emergency Final Order to accelerate preparedness and restoration in the counties under the Governor’s state-of-emergency Executive Orders.
• BP has opened claims offices in Florida. Visit the BP Claims Page to learn more.
• On May 18, 2010 the Small Business Administration (SBA) opened eight offices in the Panhandle. To date, these offices have issued a total of 112 applications. The SBA offices are open Monday – Saturday. Find office locations at: www.dep.state.fl.us...
• DEP conducted water and sediment sampling to use as a baseline and is monitoring air quality data. Statewide air quality monitoring is conducted in coordination with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Learn more at www.airnow.gov... or www.epa.gov...
o Air quality reports for Friday, May 28, revealed that air quality was considered moderate for ozone and particulate matter throughout most of the North Florida coastal area. “Moderate” means air quality is acceptable for most people.
Sent: Saturday, May 29, 2010 11:38 AM
Subject: FloridaDisaster.org - Question
I appreciate the information in your "Flash Reports". You're reporting great on the projected path that the oil on the surface "may" take. However, you know those plumes of oil underneath the surface that have been broken down by the toxic (allegedly) chemical dispersant Corexit and aren't affected by winds, where are those going, and what impact will they have? I feel that the projections for what we can't see need equal, if not more focus. What are your Disaster Recovery plans?
Tue, June 1, 2010 3:38:39 PM
RE: FloridaDisaster.org - Question...
Add to Contacts
Mr. [removed]: Per our State Meteorologist, Amy Godsey, please check out the below website for questions such as the ones you asked:
If you need further information, please let us know.
Mary Lou Heath, Administrative Assistant
Florida Division of Emergency Management
NOAA’s Oil Spill Response
Hurricanes and the Oil Spill
What will happen to a hurricane that runs through
this oil slick?
• Most hurricanes span an enormous area of the
ocean (200-300 miles) — far wider than the
current size of the spill.
• If the slick remains small in comparison to a
typical hurricane’s general environment and size,
the anticipated impact on the hurricane would
• The oil is not expected to appreciably affect either
the intensity or the track of a fully developed
tropical storm or hurricane.
• The oil slick would have little effect on the storm
surge or near-shore wave heights.
What will the hurricane do to the oil slick in
• The high winds and seas will mix and “weather”
the oil which can help accelerate the
• The high winds may distribute oil over a wider
area, but it is difficult to model exactly where the
oil may be transported.
• Movement of oil would depend greatly on the
track of the hurricane.
• Storms’ surges may carry oil into the coastline
and inland as far as the surge reaches. Debris
resulting from the hurricane may be contaminated
by oil from the Deepwater Horizon incident, but
also from other oil releases that may occur during
• A hurricane’s winds rotate counter-clockwise.
Thus, in VERY GENERAL TERMS:
o A hurricane passing to the west of the oil slick
could drive oil to the coast.
o A hurricane passing to the east of the slick
could drive the oil away from the coast.
o However, the details of the evolution of the
storm, the track, the wind speed, the size, the
forward motion and the intensity are all
unknowns at this point and may alter this
Will the hurricane pull up
the oil that is below the
surface of the Gulf?
• All of the sampling to date
shows that except near
the leaking well, the
subsurface dispersed oil is in
parts per million levels or less. The hurricane will
mix the waters of the Gulf and disperse the oil
Have we had experience in the past with
hurricanes and oil spills?
• Yes, but our experience has been primarily with oil
spills that occurred because of the storm, not
from an existing oil slick and an ongoing release
of oil from the seafloor.
• The experience from hurricanes Katrina and Rita
(2005) was that oil released during the storms
became very widely dispersed.
• Dozens of significant spills and hundreds of
smaller spills occurred from offshore facilities,
shoreside facilities, vessel sinkings, etc.
Will the oil slick help or hurt a storm from
developing in the Gulf?
• Evaporation from the sea surface fuels tropical
storms and hurricanes. Over relatively calm water
(such as for a developing tropical depression or
disturbance), in theory, an oil slick could suppress
evaporation if the layer is thick enough, by not
allowing contact of the water to the air.
• With less evaporation one might assume there
would be less moisture available to fuel the
hurricane and thus reduce its strength.
• However, except for immediately near the source,
the slick is very patchy. At moderate wind speeds,
such as those found in approaching tropical
storms and hurricanes, a thin layer of oil such as
is the case with the current slick (except in very
limited areas near the well) would likely break into
pools on the surface or mix as drops in the upper
layers of the ocean. (The heaviest surface slicks,
however, could re-coalesce at the surface after the
• This would allow much of the water to remain in
touch with the overlying air and greatly reduce
any effect the oil may have on evaporation.
• Therefore, the oil slick is not likely to have a
significant impact on the hurricane.
Will there be oil in the rain related to
• No. Hurricanes draw water vapor from a large
area, much larger than the area covered by oil,
and rain is produced in clouds circulating
Learn more about NOAA’s response to the BP oil
spill at response.restoration.noaa.gov...
To learn more about NOAA, visit