Satellite Photo Shows Devastating Impact of Hurricane Ida on Gulf of Mexico Waters

by Courtney Blackann

In the wake of Hurricane Ida’s destruction, attention has now turned to the Gulf of Mexico. About two miles south of Port Fourchon, and 34 feet below the surface, a pipe burst. This rupture caused a significant oil leak. A week after Ida hit Louisiana’s coastline, the leak was visible from a satellite where photos were captured.

Further, divers identified that the pipe burst from a trench on the storm’s ocean floor, according to Live Science. The area is about one foot in diameter and was leaking pretty heavily.

While the oil spill also currently spreads about 10 miles across the water, cleanup crews are diligently working to mitigate the problem. Satellite images captured what look like streaks of brown across the water. Each of these streaks has a rainbow-like shine to them, indicating thick oil beneath the surface.

Additionally, Talos Energy, based in Houston, recently hired Clean Gulf Associates. This company is a non-profit oil spill response team which is working to mitigate the spread of the leaks.

Hurricane Ida and Other Oil Spills

When Ida hit the Gulf Coast on Aug. 29, devastation followed. Not only were thousands displaced, left without power or stranded, damaging winds and flash floods demolished homes. Lives were lost. The Category 4 storm blew in at 150 miles per hour, bringing unsurvivable storm surges with it.

In the days since residents are still grappling with their losses and trying to rebuild.

The Grand Classica Cruiseline also housed workers as they try to restore power to the area.

“Hurricane relief and humanitarian charters are something we’ve done several times in the past, and we are proud to be able to move quickly to action now in this way, helping facilitate relief for the thousands of people who remain without power across the region,” Kevin Sheehan, president of the cruise line, said in a statement.

Additionally, the Coast Guard has set out to identify nearly 350 oil spills caused by Hurricane Ida. Several crews have taken dozens of flights while assessing the damage. Following these assessments, the crew will be collecting data and reporting back.

“The fact that it was possible to find this spill is owed to the fact that (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. A made aerial imagery publicly available,” researcher John Scott-Railton said. “Had NOAA not made that public, it would have been a lot harder to uncover what is clearly an unfolding environmental problem.”

Further, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) is working with Coast Guard and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials to monitor the situation as companies work to stop spills and clean up oil.

The amount of oil leaked into the Gulf of Mexico is currently unknown.