Holloway spots oil in waters south of Biloxi shore

Members of Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano’s advance team were in Biloxi City Hall this afternoon to get Mayor A.J. Holloway’s take on how the efforts to fight the oil spill were going.

Holloway had just returned from a two-and-a-half hour inspection of the waterfront, riding in a Biloxi police boat that traveled north and south of Deer Island, up the Biloxi Bay to the I-110 high-rise bridge, and to just over four miles south of the Biloxi Lighthouse.

“Oil is four-and-a-half miles off our shore, and I saw one boat trying to pick it up,” the mayor told the three-member federal advance team, who promised to have answers about requested assets — oil-skimming vessels and more ocean boom — in the next 12 to 24 hours, and more information through the weekend and into next week.

Holloway took his noon-time trip after hearing reports that oil was spotted south of Biloxi.

“I knew it was out there and close,” the mayor said. “I had heard it from too many people. And there it was four-and-a-half miles out, a small swath of what appeared to be weathered oil, and the people I spoke with said that swath went out for several miles.”

During the City Hall meeting, the mayor and city Emergency Manager Linda Atterberry also pressed for quick approval of the city’s mitigation and clean-up plan, which the city hopes to see funded by BP. For background on that plan, click here.

Pictures from on the water: To see photos of the waterfront inspection, click here.

News and notes

More closed waters: For the third consecutive day, the has announced more closures of Mississippi waters to commercial and recreational fishing. To see the latest map, released this evening shortly before 6 o’clock, click here.

Free shuttle service: Coast Transit Authority will provide free shuttle service Saturday for those attending the city’s property auction at the city impound on Popp’s Ferry Road. The shuttle will run from the Cedar-Popp’s shopping center and the Business Technology Center, where property owners will provide free parking. To see information on the auction,
click here.