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Remember when I conjectured a little while ago that the Mississippi might be low because the all available water was being flushed down to wash out the oil on the coast of Louisiana? That possibly was not the case at that time, but it certainly is so now.

GRAND ISLE, LA. — It has become an epic contest between water and oil along the Gulf Coast. Government officials have now opened wide the Mississippi River outlets — what they call the diversions — in a desperate attempt to overwhelm the massive oil slick approaching the ragged shoreline of Louisiana. This hydraulic defense employs snowfall from Montana, floodwater from Tennessee. The mighty river drains half the country, and every creek and stream and seep from the Rockies to the Appalachians has been enlisted in the battle.

But still it appears the oil is winning.

From an article by Joel Achenbach in the Washington Post

I am not sure why this story is dropping off the headlines because it terms of real practical damage to this country it makes 9/11 look like a minor incident. Devastating though it was, and obviously far more horrendous in terms of loss of human life, skyscrapers can be rebuilt. But this coastline and the ecology it supports is irreplaceable. Well, not quite irreplaceable, but it would require man to essentially quit the Gulf and let the Mississippi return to its meandering ways to allow this land to recover. Not a likely prospect.

Meanwhile, Dacotah has a link to the non-stop spewing. 😦

Finally, on the same day I took my power station photo, I drove to the riverside. The Mississippi was in flood, so at least at that point four days ago, there was good pool of water to wash downstream. But it won't last.Taken at Portage Des Sioux, you can see the statue of Our Lady of The Rivers standing out of the water in the distance and the road dipping into the floodwater in the foreground.

(Oil slick map for today from the NOAA – click on image to be directed to the full-size pdf on the NOAA site)