SAN DIEGO (CNS) — A large oil spill that was affecting Orange County beaches Sunday was not expected to reach the San Diego coast, the National Weather Service in San Diego said.
The possibility of the spill -- which was affecting beaches from Huntington Beach to Newport Beach -- reaching San Diego "looks rather low," NWS forecaster Brant Maxwell told City News Service.
He said winds were light along the coast, although at times Sunday night there might be a hint of northwest winds that could reach 5 mph.
The 126,000-gallon oil spill from an offshore rig was causing major ecological damage in the waters off Huntington Beach, where officials closed the area to beachgoers.
The U.S Coast Guard was leading the response to the spill, which covers about 5.8 nautical miles between the Huntington Beach Pier and Newport Beach. The spill emanated from a facility operated by Beta Offshore several miles off the coast, and was likely caused by a pipeline leak.
Huntington Beach Mayor Kim Carr said the spill was reported at about 9 a.m. Saturday and drew a response from all levels of government.
Carr described the situation as a "potential ecologic disaster," and said some of the oil had reached the shore and was impacting the Talbert Marshlands and the Santa Ana River Trail.
Rep. Michelle Steel, R-Huntington Beach, sent a letter to President Joe Biden on Sunday requesting a major disaster declaration for Orange County.