Tar Balls not a shore thing along Grand Strand

By Trey Paul - bio | email

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – When you see dead birds along Pensacola, FL, beaches, many South Carolinians wonder if the Palmetto State is next.

Dr. Jacqueline Michel, who runs Columbia-based Research Planning Inc., says that may not be the case. Michel says RPI has been contracted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for research.

RPI says their information, which is based on some 500 weather condition models conducted by NOAA, says there is only a 1 to 20 percent chance of oil reaching the South Carolina coast.

"It's going to hit us sooner or later," said Myrtle Beach resident Bill Moon. "It's too bad you go to the beach to wear sun tanning oil and get the oil you don't want to wear."

Michel says based on oil trajectory models, 1 to 3 percent of the oil is transported by wind, which means there would need to be a very strong gust for it to hit South Carolina's shore.

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