More Oily Tar Washes Up on Fla., Ala. Beaches

Heidi Hankin and Diana Walker visiting from Lake Charles, La., take photos of oil that washed up along Pensacola Beach, Fla., Friday, June 4, 2010. Waves of gooey tar blobs were washing ashore in growing numbers on the white sand of the Florida Panhandle Friday as a slick from the BP spill drifted closer to shore. (AP Photo/Michael Spooneybarger)
AP Photo/Michael Spooneybarger
The Gulf of Mexico oil slick is spreading and has now reached Florida's panhandle.

Reporting this morning from the beach in Pensacola, Fla., CBS News correspondent Kelly Cobiella collected clumps of weathered oil - sticky patches of tar with the consistency of taffy, washing ashore in dime-size to pancake-size pieces.

These are now coming ashore in the Florida panhandle and parts of Alabama, and are expected to continue moving to the east," Cobiella said.

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"Every day I wake up, I thank God I'm here, and then this is happening. It's so sad. I'm just sick," said one distraught woman.

Booms and boats kept the tar from bays and marshes, but on the beach, the responsibility from BP was frustratingly slow.

"We've called their subcontractors this morning around 4:30, 5:00 a.m., when we first discovered some of these tar balls," Buck Lee of the Santa Rosa Island Authority said yesterday. "I personally called them again at 8 o'clock, they said they'd have somebody out. It's about 10:00 now and there's nobody out."

BP said it sent 320 workers to clean more than 23 miles of sand.

Oil has now soiled land from Louisiana to Florida and is forecast to spread east.

Scientists aboard a government research ship said Friday there is more oil under water and vessels from the University of South Florida confirmed two large underwater plumes reportedly about six miles wide contain thousands of gallons of oil.

Dale Balsavich was out on the beach, "trying to collect this garbage being dumped in our ocean," he told CBS News. "This is just disgusting."

Despite this, though, local officials in Florida and Alabama say the beaches are still safe, and that it is not enough oil to cause a health risk.

Also about 17 miles off the coast of Florida is a very large plume of black oil that is being pushed closer to the coast and to the east by southwest winds.

Scientists this week ran six different computer models, all showing that eventually this oil will get caught into sea currents and wrap around the coast of Florida and up to the East Coast.

But scientists stress that they can't really pinpoint a timeline and if this, in fact, does happen, what's likely to wash ashore is more of a light sheen and weathered oil or tar balls, not the heavy oil that has washed ashore in Louisiana.

Containment Dome in Place, But Is It Effective?

On "The Early Show" Friday BP officials said that 90% containment would be success in their eyes. But how realistic is that?

Dr. Edward Overton, professor of environmental sciences at Louisiana State University, said right now now it is nowhere near 90%.

(AP Photo/Melissa Nelson)
"I'd be happy with 50%, to tell you the truth," he told "Early Show" anchor Erica Hill Saturday. "I think anything that we can [do to] lower the flow would be wonderful compared to what has been going on.

(Left: A child's sand shovel is filled with tar in Pensacola Beach Friday.)

"Remember, this has been going on for 47 days, approximately the same flow, perhaps a little more now. It's not a good clean seal down there, we know that they didn't get a good cut, so we shouldn't expect to get 90%, at least in my opinion."

Dr. Overton said more emphasis should be placed on removing oil from the surface, before it can wash up on shore.

"I would like to see every skimmer in the world put into play," Dr. Everton said. "Let's keep as much oil off the shore as we can, and the only way to do that is with an aggressive offshore skimming effort, and I don't see that right now. I'd like to see it tripled or quadrupled from the level that's going on."

More Coverage of Gulf Oil Disaster:

Wildlife in the Gulf
BP: Cap in Place, Oil Leak "Part of the Design"
Floridians Brace for "Inevitable" Arrival of Oil
Louisiana's Slimy New Reality
Oil-Covered Birds Show Distress
Oil Spill Could Hit East Coast