Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, who directed relief efforts in the gulf after Katrina, says that it’s impossible to estimate the size of the oil slick and that his priority is on stopping its spread.
The new top commander heading the fight against a massive oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico said on Saturday that it was impossible to estimate the size of the leak pouring into the water.
Allen’s comments come as academics and consultants say the size of the leak is growing and is perhaps three times larger than previously thought. The amount of oil leaked may already be about 10 million gallons and growing. By comparison, the Exxon Valdez spill was about 11 million gallons.
Because the leaks have yet to be sealed, the gulf disaster could eclipse the 1989 Exxon Valdez incident when an oil tanker spilled 11 million gallons off Alaska’s shores. Officials have already said the at-sea operations could take months to complete.
The first wave of the oil has already washed up near Venice and other extreme southeastern portions of Louisiana. The main part of the leak is expected to hit shore over the weekend.
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