CNN’s Anderson Cooper has been absent from the New Orleans riverfront since immediately after the leaking — make that spewing — Deepwater Horizon drill pipe was plugged. When the oil stopped, the story dried up, and Anderson blew out of town.
I found it peculiar that he would broadcast from the New Orleans riverfront, which is close to 100 miles away from the Gulf of Mexico. For a guy who usually likes to become the story, he missed this one by a mile — make that a 100 miles.
Anyway, just because the national media is gone doesn’t mean the work has stopped or the game is over. The Unified Area Command released the following statistics on Oct. 27:
- Approximately 11,186 personnel are currently responding to protect the shoreline, wildlife and cleanup vital coastlines;
- Fourteen shoreline cleanup assessment teams are working in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. These SCATs respond to new reports of oil and systematically clean identified oiled areas;
- Over 1,332 tons of recyclable waste, including oily liquid and oily solid waste, has been processed;
- NOAA reopened 6,879 square miles of Gulf waters to commercial and recreational fishing. The area is located about 180-200 nautical miles south of the Florida panhandle, between the Florida-Alabama state line and Cape San Blas, Fla. This is the ninth reopening in federal waters since July 22. The remaining closed area now covers 16,481 square miles or about 7 percent of the federal waters in the Gulf;
- Approximately 93 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline are currently experiencing moderate to heavy oil impacts — about 86 miles in Louisiana, six miles in Mississippi and less than two miles in Alabama and Florida;
- About 483 miles of shoreline are experiencing light to trace oil —approximately 226 miles in Louisiana, 78 miles in Mississippi, 60 miles in Alabama, and 119 miles in Florida.
Back to you, Anderson.