Barbour calls for intensified search, skimming operation south of barrier islands

GULFPORT, Miss. — A day after the first significant amount of oil washed up on a Mississippi barrier island, Gov. Haley Barbour called for more boats to search and skim as a first line of defense against another landfall.

Barbour flew to Petit Bois Island on Wednesday aboard a National Guard helicopter to what had been reported as a 2-mile long, yard-wide strand of oil on the beach.

“There was nothing left, but this sort of tar ball,” he said, pointing to half-dollar-sized sample on a table during a news conference in an Air National Guard building at the Gulfport airport.