BP says pipe cut is making progress

(NBC) - As a giant saw slices through the metal pipe, oil appears to shoot out in all directions. According to the company, the cut is making progress.

"Between 24 hours and 48 hours, we should have the system operating and we should have very little oil spilled at sea, but we can't guarantee success," BP Chief Operations Officer Doug Suttles said.

When the saws are done, they will try to find a containment cap that fits and is able to siphon oil to the surface.

"I think we have seven versions of this thing, so if we run into problems, we can actually switch to one of the other versions," said Suttles.

But every day is now too long to people here.

"It's like telling a drowning man, 'Just wait; give us more time to study this.' We need to be rescued. We need help now," Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said.

Louisiana officials continue to beg for permits and money to build sand barriers along the coast.

What they are getting for now are giant floating hotels, housing thousands of workers tasked with cleaning and protecting the coast.

"We can rotate folks when they're resting. We can have additional resources to get a full day's work, if you will, and be able to respond in that manner," BP Operations and Parish Branch Director Fred Lemond said.

In the meantime, the response from the Obama Administration is taking on a new tougher stance.

"If we find evidence of illegal behavior, we will be extremely forceful in our response," Attorney General Eric Holder said.

But even criminal charges may come too late for many as the crude continues to leave its dark stain on this tender ecosystem.

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