Local leaders staying informed as oil spill crisis continues

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 9, 2010

LAPLACE – As millions of gallons of oil from the Deepwater Horizon well continue to spew into the Gulf of Mexico, local leaders from St. John the Baptist and St. Charles parishes say they are in the loop on daily updates from affected parishes.

St. John Parish President Natalie Robottom and St. Charles Emergency Operations Director Scott Welchel both said they regularly sit in on conference calls with leaders from Jefferson, Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes as they cope with the affects of oil on local beaches and wetlands.

“There are so many unknowns right now, and we want to have the most information we can should things get worse,” Welchel said, “especially now that we are in hurricane season. We don’t know what it will do or how it could impact us.”

Robottom said her main concern is keeping oil out of Lake Pontchartrain. She said she has been in constant contact with St. Tammany Parish President Kevin Davis and receives regular updates on their preparation.

“I know they have taken steps to stockpile boom in that area to block any possible entry of oil at their end,” Robottom said.

“We are not anticipating any immediate affect in this area, but it is something we have our eye on. We are updated by the state and through those coastal parishes daily.”

– Robin Shannon