Ike Spilled 500K Gallons of Gulf Oil
Strong winds, waves damaged dozens of oil platforms
By Laurel Jorgensen,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 5, 2008 7:00 PM CDT
A pump jack is seen toppled over in flood waters left behind by Hurricane Ike on the High Island Oil Field, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2008, in High Island, Texas.   (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
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(Newser) – Hurricane Ike knocked at least a half million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico and nearby waterways, according to an AP analysis of environmental reports. Worst hit were oil platforms near the coast of Louisiana, but about half of the spill occurred at a facility on Goat Island, Texas. More than 50 platforms were destroyed in all and 32 others took damage.

That’s nowhere near the environmental wound struck by Hurricane Katrina, which spilled about 9 million gallons of oil. But Ike's spill could still fill most of an Olympic-sized swimming pool. Humans aren't the only ones suffering, either: Migrating birds that stop off on the Texas coast are in for a surprise, because their favorite trees and plants are gone. "It is going to cause wildlife to suffer for awhile," one bird expert said.