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Hurricanes could complicate Gulf oil clean up

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Hurricane season starts soon. Experts predict an active season with four "major" hurricanes. What happens if a storm hits while there's still an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico? Tanya Ott reports.

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Tanya Ott, May 14, 2010

If a tropical storm hits while there's still oil in the water, it could disastrous for the coastline and several miles inland. Mark Wysocki is a Cornell University climatologist.

"All that oil would get into the marshlands and some of the homeowners' properties and so forth and that would make it very difficult then to remove that oil from those types of locations."

When Katrina hit Louisiana it destroyed some of the oil distributor piping, and they're still cleaning up in some of the wetland areas.

Wysocki says the one upside is that oil makes it harder for water to evaporate. Tropical storms need evaporation to build strength. So an oil spill might actually keep storms smaller.

For The Environment Report, I'm Tanya Ott.

Copyright 2010, The Regents of the University of Michigan, Used with permission.

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