Alabama's governor says five more counties will be eligible for federal aid aimed at helping communities recover from damage caused by Hurricane Isaac. Gov. Robert Bentley said in a statement Thursday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved the request. Bentley had sent a letter to FEMA saying the five counties -- Covington, Dallas, Geneva, Monroe and Perry -- suffered $2.5 million in damage. The five counties are now added to the list of counties that were already able to apply for federal public assistance.
A new chemical analysis shows that virtually all the tar balls now washing on to the Alabama coast are directly linked to the BP oil spill more than two years ago.
The report released Thursday by Auburn University says that tar balls caused by the spill are hundreds to thousands of times more common than another type of asphalt-like tar deposit that's been in the Gulf for years.
Most of Alabama's request for $9.4 million in federal assistance following Hurricane Isaac would pay for beach repair or sand removal. The state released to The Associated Press a copy of an aid request that Gov. Robert Bentley wrote to President Barack Obama this week. About $6.2 million is being sought to repair beaches in Gulf Shores or Orange Beach or to remove sand that covered roads on Dauphin Island. Another $846,000 would go to Dauphin Island for roads and public utility repairs.
Scientific testing has confirmed a link between oil from the massive BP spill and tar found on Alabama beaches after Hurricane Isaac. Auburn University researcher Joel Hayworth said Tuesday a chemical analysis showed that tar balls collected after Isaac were associated with the type of oil spilled after the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig in 2010. Auburn researchers collected about 15 pounds of tar balls after the storm, and officials from Gulf Shores and Orange Beach picked up still more.
BP says Hurricane Isaac's scouring waves exposed deposits of buried tar on the Louisiana coast that were left over from its massive oil spill in 2010. Louisiana officials closed a stretch of beach near Fourchon on Tuesday after scouts said they found large tar mats. BP acknowledged Wednesday the oil was from its spill.
The Obama administration is temporarily waiving clean gas requirements in eight states affected by Hurricane Isaac. Governors requested the waiver because fuel supplies from refineries in the Gulf area were disrupted by Isaac. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson says extreme circumstances could cause a gas shortage. The waiver lets gas stations sell less environmentally friendly fuel, normally reserved for winter, in addition to the regular fuel they normally sell during summer, when ozone levels are higher.
Officials say they're finding tar balls on Alabama's beaches in the wake of Hurricane Isaac's landfall last week.
Representatives from the cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach said Wednesday workers are seeing significantly more tar deposits on the sand than before Isaac struck. The tar is weathered and old, and it's not considered dangerous.
The cities believe tar is breaking off from large, submerged mats that were left from the BP oil spill in 2010. But tests have yet to confirm whether the tar is linked to the BP well or something else.
Residents along the Gulf Coast are beginning to survey the damage left in Hurricane Isaac’s wake. Some University of Alabama research students are also assessing the impact of the storm. Four UA graduate students went to New Orleans and braced themselves against the high winds and heavy rains for research. John Mason is one of those students.
Your pet has a better chance of surviving a disaster and remaining with you if you make plans ahead of time. Waiting until a disaster strikes to decide what to do puts you and your best friend at risk.
The 257 Alabama prison inmates transferred out of a state facility in Mobile County as Hurricane Isaac was approaching the coast have been returned to Mobile.
Department of Corrections Commissioner Kim Thomas ordered the inmates returned Thursday to Mobile Community Based Facility as the remnants of Isaac had mostly left Alabama.
Thomas on Monday ordered the inmates temporarily transferred to Easterling Correctional Facility in Barbour County and to Bullock Correctional Facility in Bullock County. Thomas said the inmates were returned to Mobile Thursday without incident.
Carnival Cruise Lines has canceled plans to dock its ship Elation in Mobile and is sending the ship to its regular port in New Orleans.
Carnival had originally announced plans to temporarily dock the ship in Mobile due to the remnants of Hurricane Isaac. But Carnival now says an assessment of the port facilities in New Orleans shows the ship can dock normally.
Mobile used to be a cruise port, but Carnival pulled out because profits weren't sufficient. The city is trying to find another company to dock ships at its $20 million cruise terminal.
Life is returning to normal on Alabama's coast after a brush with Hurricane Isaac, but not completely.
Schools in Mobile and Baldwin counties resume class Thursday after a three-day break for the storm, and seas are expected to continue falling as remnants of Isaac slowly move off the coast.
But forecasters say southwest Alabama could receive several more inches of rain before the tropical precipitation bands end. And storms could continue inland like the cells that prompted tornado warnings on Wednesday.
MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Hurricane Isaac has dumped more than five inches of rain on the Alabama coast and knocked out power to some residents, but it hasn't interrupted the everyday life of others. Restaurants and convenience stores opened in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores on Wednesday morning and other businesses returned to normal after hunkering down for the hurricane. Romar Beach Baptist Church had a couple of roof leaks. But church employee Reatha Borde got in her car as normal, stopped at a convenience store for coffee and got to work early Wednesday.
The gulf is churning large waves and white foam on Alabama's coast and the wind from Isaac is still whistling around buildings. But beachfront walkways and other structures along the shore appear intact.
Lights are still on Wednesday morning in Orange Beach and a few cars are traveling the beach road. Louisiana took the brunt of Isaac after the hurricane shifted west and gave Alabama only a glancing blow.