First has anyone seen Escambia County Commissioners Marie Young and Wilson Robertson. Neither has shown for the briefings for this unprecedented environmental disaster. Maybe BP is holding them hostage.
That being said the Escambia County Emergency Operations Center is at Level 2 Partial Activation. It will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sheriff David Morgan, Lisa Bernau-Chief Deputy for Escambia County Clerk of Courts/Comptroller, Commissioners Grover Robinson and Gene Valentino (Kevin White arrived late), Mayor Mike Wiggins, Councilmen PC Wu and Larry Johnson.
John Dosh, head of Emergency Operations, told the room that the plume has slowed. Keith Wilkins talked about the boom plan developed by the staff to prevent oil from getting into Pensacola Bay and the Intercoastal waterway. It calls for a series of V-shaped boomed structures that will funnel the oil into areas where it can be picked up by skimmer boats.
The Unified Command was given the plan on Friday, Gov. Crist said he liked it at the Saturday briefing, but it has yet to be approved.
As of Monday morning, 45 volunteers had completed HAZMAT training. Twenty-five were to trained that day and there is a waiting list of 450 more.
Liz Castro, the director of Civic Affairs for BP, spoke for seemed like two minutes. She gave literally the same speech as BP rep. Gary Stewart gave on Saturday. Castro reemphasized the amount of boom deployed and what was in reserve at NAS Pensacola. She really added little to the discussion.
Later Fort Walton Beach Mayor Mike Anderson asked why the boom that was in the Destin Pass was removed and when will it be replace. Castro couldn’t give Mayor Anderson an answer.
“I’m not the technical person in this,” Castro explained…..which begs the question why was she in the EOC.
At the press conference after the EOC meeting, I asked the County’s PIO, Sonya Smith, if Castro could answer questions from the media. Unfortunately Castro left the facility on W Street before the media could ask her anything.