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Updated: Oil on a 12-mile stretch of Matagorda Island (w/video)

By Sara Sneath
March 27, 2014 at 7:02 a.m.
Updated March 26, 2014 at 10:27 p.m.


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Click here for the latest press release and a map of the possible affected area.

1 p.m. update: Overflight assessment this morning indicates that the oil is impacting about 12 miles of coast on Matagorda Island south of the Matagorda Island State Park.

That's the Gulf side, not the bay.

Oil is primarily in the rolling breakers in a band approximately 100 yards offshore.

Patches of oil measuring 6 by 6 meters and 30 by 2 meters have been observed, as well as smaller patches and heavy and light rainbow sheens.


Trajectory models are showing the oil from the Houston Ship Channel spill headed toward environmentally sensitive Matagorda Bay. A command point is being setup to mitigate any potential shoreline damage.

"As far as specifics for when it could come, we really don't know. We'll be there as long as we need to be," said Lt. J.G. Kris Kidd with the Joint Information Center responding to the spill.

Bunker fuel spilled into the Houston Ship Channel on March 22 when a barge carrying the fuel collided with a ship. The response team is working under the assumption that 168,000 gallons, the amount of fuel in one tank of the barge, are in the water, Kidd said.

Kidd said they did not have any details for the amount of personnel or makeup of organizations on ground in Port O'Connor, Kidd said.

We will have live updates throughout the day.

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