Oil begins hitting Alabama’s Dauphin Island

Teams of workers in protective boots and gloves scoured Alabama’s Dauphin Island on Wednesday for washed up tar balls and tar patties that have put the 14-mile-long resort in the front line of the state’s fight against the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The invading oil debris, heralding the arrival on Alabama’s coast of parts of the huge, fragmented oil slick spewing from BP’s blown-out undersea well, started coming ashore late on Tuesday on the inhabited barrier beach island.

Dauphin Island residents, who are used to hurricanes roaring out of the Gulf, were waking up to the reality that they would not escape the impact of the six-week-old spill which had so far mostly affected Louisiana to the southwest.

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