Three More States Request Guard Help

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

The Pentagon says Alabama, Florida and Mississippi have requested the federal mobilization of National Guard troops to aid clean-up efforts along the Gulf Coast.

Col. Dave Lapan, a Defense Department spokesman, said Monday that those requests are similar to one made last week by Louisiana.

That request allowed up to 6,000 National Guard troops, paid for by the federal government under Title 32 law, to be made available to Louisiana.

So far, on-site coordinators have called in only 600 of those Guard troops, although defense officials say that number could go higher.

Mississippi and Coast Guard officials say Mississippi's coastline is in no immediate danger from the oil spill.

Adm. Thad Allen, the commandant of the Coast Guard, said Monday the spill is currently 40 to 50 miles wide and 80 to 90 miles long, but has remained in the vicinity of the well from which it is leaking.

Though it is impossible to guess where the oil might head, Allen said if it starts moving toward the Mississippi coast, the state would get a 72 to 96 hour advanced notice. That notice has not yet been given.

Gov. Haley Barbour said what preventative measures can be taken, have been.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency opened a call center to answer questions from concerned residents regarding the oil spill in Gulf of Mexico. The number is 866-920-MEMA (6362), operating 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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