Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
This Oil Spill was disturbing to the economy of many fishing towns around Prince William Sound, among others to Cordova. This sad accident happened esxcatly 25 years after the Good Friday Earthquake in Alaska. This time the disaster was almost as big, especially for the animals.
In Cordova the marks of the oil spill still exists, you can find oil from the shore. The stinky, thick, disgusting oil. It won't ever fead from the memories of Cordovaers and other Alaskans. Here is a short history of what happened on those late days of March, in 1989.
At about 9:00 PM on 23 March 1989, the 987-foot supertanker Exxon Valdez left the tanker terminal at the end of the 800-mile-long Alaska pipeline, fully loaded with crude oil and bound for California. Two and a half hours later, Captain Joseph Hazelwood informed the Coast Guard that he was moving the tanker from the outbound to the inbound sea lane through Prince William Sound in order to avoid ice floes. Then Hazelwood turned the helm over to Third Mate Gregory Cousins. For some reason the supertanker sailed past the inboard lane and, shortly after midnight, plowed into Bligh Reef, three miles beyond the channel. Oil began to gush from the ruptured hull. Returning to the bridge, Captain Hazelwood took steps to keep the Exxon Valdez from sliding off the reef, which would have increased the spillage. Even so, 240,000 barrels of crude -- 10 million gallons -- were dumped into the pristine waters of Prince William Sound, the worst oil disaster in North American history, and an environmental catastrophe of such proportions that some called it "America's Chernobyl," comparing it to the Soviet nuclear power plant disaster which had occurred in 1986.
Many people come to Cordova in the summer to either work in one of the local canneries or fish. The town almost doubles in size during these months.
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