"This is not a normal oil spill caused by some collision," Goodin told a crowd of 25 Navarre Towers condo owners at the Navarre Visitor's Information Center. "This is more like an uncontrolled flow and they're saying it could take anywhere from two to three months to turn it off."
Upwards of 5,000 barrels a day of crude oil has been leaking in the Gulf of Mexico following the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, located off the coast of Louisiana.
According to the Associated Press, officials believe that the amount of oil gushing into the gulf is actually five times that amount.
"We're hoping to God that the six (unmanned) submersibles can get down there and turn it off sooner than that," Goodin said. "But we're talking 18,000 feet deep. And they're building a dome, the likes of which has never been seen before, but that's not expected to be finished until sometime next week. Even then, they're not sure if that will work."
Officials are predicting that the 2,200-square-mile oil slick will ooze onto the sandy white beaches of Santa Rosa County as early as Monday night. Goodin said with the strong winds, they can only predict about 72-hours out.
"You'll notice it long before it reaches our shores," Goodin said. "You'll smell the fumes and it will burn your eyes. There will be tar balls."
Since BP Gas owns the oil, Goodin said the company is responsible financially for any action taken by the government to cleanup the oil.
"There will be a chance for claims on any loss in revenue," Goodin said. "So, keep track of those who are cancelling, if any of you rent out condos."
The county is also taking water samples and soil samples in the hopes to return it to the same quality following cleanup efforts.
"What we'd like is for you to keep records," Goodin said. "Document what the beach looks like now, so we have something to compare it to afterward."
Navarre Press will post more information as it becomes available.
For more information:
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Citizen Information Line:
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Citizens may call (850) 983-INFO (4636) with questions.