The oil is so thick on the shores of Huntington Beach in California that you can scoop it up in gooey black handfuls – and the cleanup is just beginning.
Crews have been trying to clear the shore for days now, after more than 126,000 gallons of crude oil leaked from a pipeline off the coast of Huntington Beach, near Los Angeles, on Saturday.
The spill now extends from Huntington Beach to Laguna Beach according to CNN. Aerial photos show it looks like a giant swirl of black and rainbows the wrong way round.
Investigators are still trying to figure out exactly what caused the spill, but they suspect it had something to do with a ship’s anchor that got caught in the pipeline owned by Amplify Energy.
“The pipeline has basically been pulled like a bowstring. And so, at its widest point, it’s about 105 feet from where it was,” Amplify Energy CEO Martyn said Tuesday. Willsher, at a press conference. “So it’s kind of almost a semicircle.”
The pipeline is embedded in concrete, so the anchor must have hit it really hard to cause the 13-inch tear they found.
Now the oil floats on the surface for miles long and it’s … pretty disgusting.
Oil started washing up on shore earlier this week and people have been sharing images of the lumpy black substance for days, while calling for the pipeline company to be held accountable.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency and federal authorities are rushing to contain the spill while they clean it up, but it will take some time to clear it all up.
The oil is also expected to cause major problems for local wildlife, but the authorities really don’t want anyone rushing to save the animals themselves.
Instead, they urge people to leave that to the professionals and donate money if they really want to help.
The Town of Huntington Beach says you can donate to the cleanup effort here and you can help animal rescuers here.
It was the worst spill near Hunting Beach since 1990, when an oil tanker spilled over 400,000 gallons of oil in the same area.