New Orleans jazz fest thrives in spite of oil spill

VIDEO - It is jazz fest weekend in New Orleans, but no amount of oil spill will put a stop to these festivities...

It is jazz fest weekend in New Orleans, and the city is packed with jazz and music-lovers from all around the world, but about an hour drive south of the city, lays a different scene.

As reported last week, there was a massive oil spill explosion caused by a BP offshore drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico, which reached the Louisiana shoreline early Friday.

The oil leak, which President Obama has described as a “potentially unprecedented environment disaster” is currently releasing 5,000 barrels of oil per day. Initial efforts to manage the spill with controlled burning, dispersal and plugging the leak all posed unsuccessful.

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According to Bill Salvin, a BP company spokesman, progress is already underway. Just today, crews finished building a containment dome, a 4-story, 70-ton structure that the company plans to install over one of the three leaks to catch the escaping oil, allowing it to be pumped to the surface.

To further this progress, volunteer groups around the city have been called upon to extend a helping hand, many of whom are already up for the challenge that awaits them.

Some locals, however, especially Hurricane Katrina survivors, are frustrated as news of the recent oil spill is yet another blow to the New Orleans area.

Despite the frustrations over the oil spill, it is jazz fest in New Orleans, a long-lived tradition, and no amount of oil spill will put a damper on these festivities.