Oil Spill Shuts Down Mobile River

Joe Raedle

GULFPORT, MS - JULY 1: An Oil cleanup worker uses a shovel to remove thick oil that washed ashore from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on July 1, 2010 in Gulfport, Mississippi. Millions of gallons of oil have spilled into the Gulf since the April 20 explosion on the drilling platform. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Alabama’s Mobile River has been shut down due to a major oil spill at the Gulf Coast Asphalt Co.’s facility. The Coast Guard said four companies had been hired to clean up some 275,000 gallons of heavy fuel oil that leaked from the facility overnight. Though a large portion of oil remained on land, globs covered a wide range of the river’s surface by Thursday morning and flowed past containment booms and into drainage ditches, which empty out into the Polecat Bay. The asphalt company’s oil tanks are surrounded by dikes intended to capture oil in the event of a spill.