Oil could hit Florida in next day

PENSACOLA BEACH – Tar balls and oil from a massive oil slick could hit Florida’s pristine white beaches as soon as Wednesday.

Escambia County officials said late Tuesday an oil sheen was confirmed just 9.5 miles off of Pensacola Beach. Officials have begun laying out boom and making other plans for the oil’s immediate arrival.

Beach officials said earlier Tuesday that their request for about $150,000 from BP to buy sifting machines and a tractor to help remove oil from the beach’s famous white sands has lingered unanswered for more than three weeks.

Santa Rosa Island Authority executive director W.A. “Buck” Lee said he is fed up with delays from the unified command center in Mobile, Ala. Lee said he feared the equipment would not be ready before oil hit the beach.