With BP Oil Spill Reaching Mississippi Shore, Gov. Haley Barbour Pleads for Supplies

Alex threatens to stall cleanup -- Miss. Gov. says his state is at risk.

ByABC News
June 28, 2010, 6:16 PM

June 28, 2010— -- Just weeks ago, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour claimed that oil was not a big threat to the people of the Gulf Coast. Now, with oil hitting his state's beaches for the first time since the start of the BP spill, the Republican governor says his state isn't prepared for the spill and needs more help.

Earlier in June, Barbour said, "Once [oil] gets to this stage, it's not poisonous," though he said it probably wasn't a good idea to brush one's teeth with it.

Watch 'World News' for more on the BP Oil Spill.

With black gobs of oil now sullying Mississippi's white beaches, the governor is taking a more serious tone, asking for more resources to combat the problem he had dismissed.

"We have to be honest with the public. Right now we don't have enough skimming capacity if everything that's off our shores continues going north," Barbour said.

On day 70 of the spill, local officials say they're sorely lacking in supplies to fight the oil. The mayor of Ocean Springs, Miss. told ABC News they're not seeing the response they need from state and federal officials to an urgent problem.

When told that significant amounts of oil were hitting shore, authorities "didn't react at all," said Mayor Connie Morgan. "They said there's more oil than boats."

Along the Mississippi coast, that oil is derailing families' beach plans and threatening the state's vital tourism industry.

"It's a lot worse than I thought it would be," said Mike Brown, who took his three young daughters to a Mississippi beach today, only to find it closed. "The place where we go to get away from it all, can't go there anymore."

After a beach trip yesterday, Brown's daughter Kendall was smothered in oil they described as "goopy."

In places where the oil is already getting through, the spill is already taking its toll on Mississippi wildlife. Some pelicans photographed today had brown underbellies. They're usually white in color.