Saturday, September 17, 2005

160,000-barrel oil spill nears final cleanup

160,000 barrels of oil which spilled from a refinery in Chalmette and from other storage facilities in Plaquemines Parish and Port Sulphur have been nearly cleaned up after a third was recovered and the rest evaporated and naturally dispersed.

However, the spill has wrought as yet unknwon havoc on local ecosystems, already fragile and shrinking before Hurricane Katrina hit. Costs incurred by local and State governments which have to deal with the damage are being repaid by FEMA which will release a total of $460m to satisfy costs related to all emergency activities.

The damage done in some areas has passed others by, and houses in areas which escaped flooding are expected to rise in value by 10-15%. The areas which escaped most unharmed are West Jefferson, River Ridge, Kenner, Madeville, Conington and Slidell.

Meanwhile, damage to roads has been estimated as at least $2.3 billion, which does not include damage to traffic signals and signs, ports, airports, levees, or trains and streetcars.

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