Surrealism

Massive amounts of oil wash ashore : clean up goes into the night

July 7, 2010, Long Beach Mississippi

According to a person in charge (so far, in my experience, nobody on-site from the clean-up crews will go on the record) 5,000 workers scoured Long Beach, a stretch of sand through four cities: (west-east) Pass Christian, Long Beach, Gulf Port and Biloxi.
I spoke with Long Beach Police Chief Wayne McDowell who said the beach was not closed but it was cleared so the massive amount of oil that washed up could be cleaned. This was the largest amount of oil he personally had seen in Mississippi to date.
A person in charge of clean-up crews in this section of beach said it was the largest amount of oil to date as well, he said earlier this day there was not much oil on Long Beach, it started coming in around 11:00 a.m. and by 3:30 globs of mousse (the orange, sticky, blobs) were hitting the beach so he asked the Coast Guard to find out where it was coming from. They flew out over the water and found what he called several very large fingers or strips of oil headed straight for the beach.
I spoke with 2 National Guardsmen whose responsibilities at this site were to keep civilians away from the clean-up effort. They also said it was the largest amount of oil they had seen near these shores to date. They said it was not what they had seen previously, the broken up blobs of mousse, but that this was an actual slick of oil. They told me they are with the Louisiana National Guard based at the St. Martin Armory in Jackson County.
What you will see in these images:
-Day laborers in tyvek suits shoveling mousse into large clear plastic bags which are then thrown onto a large black plastic tarp.
-Several piles of the bags still on the beach waiting to be collected onto the large tarps.
-Men in charge of the cleanup wear safety vests and regular pants and uncovered boots.
The police chief and another officer.
-Lights with safety lenses, or filters, that are meant to protect any existing sea turtle habitat.

July 7, 2010, Long Beach MississippiAccording to a person in charge (so far, in my experience, nobody on-site from the clean-up crews will go on the record) 5,000 workers scoured Long Beach, a stretch of sand through four cities: (west-east) Pass Christian, Long Beach, Gulf Port and Biloxi.
I spoke with Long Beach Police Chief Wayne McDowell who said the beach was not closed but it was cleared so the massive amount of oil that washed up could be cleaned. This was the largest amount of oil he personally had seen in Mississippi to date.

A person in charge of clean-up crews in this section of beach said it was the largest amount of oil to date as well, he said earlier this day there was not much oil on Long Beach, it started coming in around 11:00 a.m. and by 3:30 globs of mousse (the orange, sticky, blobs) were hitting the beach so he asked the Coast Guard to find out where it was coming from. They flew out over the water and found what he called several very large fingers or strips of oil headed straight for the beach.

I spoke with two National Guardsmen whose responsibilities at this site were to keep civilians away from the clean-up effort. They also said it was the largest amount of oil they had seen near these shores to date. They said it was not what they had seen previously, the broken up blobs of mousse, but that this was an actual slick of oil. They told me they are with the Louisiana National Guard based at the St. Martin Armory in Jackson County.
What you will see in the gallery of images:

-Day laborers in tyvek suits shoveling mousse into large clear plastic bags which are then thrown onto a large black plastic tarp.

-Several piles of the bags still on the beach waiting to be collected onto the large tarps.

-Men in charge of the cleanup wear safety vests and regular pants and uncovered boots.

-The police chief and another officer.

-Lights with safety lenses, or filters, that are meant to protect any existing sea turtle habitat.

This was a very unsettling and surreal landscape, possibly even more so once the lenses were removed from the work lights.

These are my personal observations and information garnered from speaking with on-site officials, however, none of it is verified as of yet, and nobody would go on the record.

Long Beach, Mississippi, July 7, 2010. A large amount of oil washed ashore in Long Beach prompting the first night time cleaning. Lights were brought in for the workers, originally, the lights had amber colored filters on them to protect any sea turtles in the area. The filters were peeled off when the men in charge were told there was no danger from the lights.
Photo by: Jenn LeBlanc/Iris Photo Agency

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