NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Until Monday, New Orleans had escaped direct
impact from the BP oil disaster.
That delicate balance changed when balls of tar were found in the Rigolets, one of two passes that connect Lake Pontchartrain with the Gulf of Mexico.
"So far it's scattered stuff showing up, mostly tar balls," said Office of Fisheries Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina. "It will pull out with the tide, and the show back up."
Pausina said he expected the oil to clear the passes and move directly into the lake, taking a backdoor route to New Orleans.
Prevailing east winds since Hurricane Alex have steadily pushed the oil toward the city's eastern coastline along an arm of the Gulf. On Monday, the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to close the area to fishing.
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