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Officials: Little chance of oil reaching Carolinas

May 20, 2010 5:15:00 PM - thestate.com
Chances are remote that oil from a leaking well in the Gulf of Mexico could make it to the beaches of the Carolinas and it would likely be weeks from now if it did, emergency officials said Thursday.

"We think there will be a minimal impact, if any," said Ricky Platt, director of the South Carolina Emergency Management Division. "But having said that, we're still in the unknown."

The worry is that the loop current in Gulf of Mexico will pull the leaking oil around the Florida peninsula and then north toward the Carolinas.

"What we're hearing from the Coast Guard is that there is less than a 1 percent chance it could get this far," said Eddie Seneca, the spokesman for the North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety.

On Wednesday, Clinch Heyward and Ben Gregg, chairman and executive director respectively of the South Carolina Wildlife Federation, wrote the Coast Guard and the state Department of Health and Environmental Control asking about contingency plans if oil does tar the shoreline.

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