Gov. Bobby Jindal Orders National Guard to Build Barrier Wall Off Louisiana Shore

Louisiana Gov. takes matters into own hands, but will BP foot the bill?

ByABC News
June 14, 2010, 6:26 PM

June 14, 2010— -- Eight weeks into the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of the Mexico, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has told the National Guard that there's no time left to wait for BP, so they're taking matters into their own hands.

In Fort Jackson, La., Jindal has ordered the Guard to start building barrier walls right in the middle of the ocean. The barriers, built nine miles off shore, are intended to keep the oil from reaching the coast by filling the gaps between barrier islands.

Watch 'World News' for more on this story tonight on your ABC station.

Today, huge Blackhawk and Chinook helicopters lined up in the air, dropping sandbags one by one into the sea.

"They are lifting up about 7,000 pounds of sandbags," said 1st Lt. James Tyson Gabler.

The authorities say they're keeping a tab on the cost of the project and will send a bill to BP, adding to a huge list of claims from the spill zone.

BP says that it has paid out $62 million in claims so far, about half of the 51,000 applications that have been filed. The average amount for a fisherman or a deckhand is $2,500, a fraction of what they would have earned in the eight weeks since the spill started.

Today, though, even President Obama acknowledged during his visit to the region that the claims process is not working. People are waiting for checks and struggling with paperwork.

"There are still problems with [the claims]," Obama said at a press conference. "We're gathering up facts, stories right now so that we have an absolutely clear understanding about how we can best present to BP the need to make sure that individuals and businesses are dealt with in a fair manner and in a prompt manner."

Obama will meet with BP chairman Tony Hayward this week, and he has already asked BP to create an escrow fund to cover claims, monitored by an independent third party.