It was the worst oil disaster in U.S. history, though for much of the nation, it remained a worrying but distant drama.
Julie Creppel raises six children here, steps away from the lapping waves of the Gulf of Mexico. Her modest mobile home, on a narrow peninsula roughly an hour and a half south of New Orleans, puts her about as close as anyone to where, two years ago today, a BP offshore drilling operation went terribly wrong, spewing 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf's constant saltwater churn.
Creppel says that for her and her family, the impacts were very clear and very present. The spill, she says -- and the months of efforts to stop it -- made them sick.
One son, 2-year-old Wyatt, struggles with constipation and severe skin rashes, Creppel says. Daughters Kylee and Atrea suffer massive headaches almost daily. Kasie, meanwhile, is due for an electrocardiogram for her heart palpitations. Just about everyone in the house relies on a steady supply of Nasonex nasal spray to clear their permanent congestion. Creppel counts 17 prescriptions filled for the family's ailments just last week.
“It was like a war zone,” Creppel says, recalling the squadrons of military and support planes overhead, the smoky air and the unforgiving chemical stench that characterized the summer of 2010. “When we would walk out on the porch, we couldn’t breathe. Our eyes and throats would burn.”
Creppel's complaints are not unique.....Read more;