If the BP Oil Spill Had Hit Your Hometown

The volume of oil gushing into the Gulf is hard to imagine. An enlightening, if disturbing mapping tool helps you see what 2.5 million gallons a day looks like in your own backyard.

By Jorge Rivas Jun 16, 2010

BP has tried eight different attempts to stop or slow the amount of oil spilling into the Gulf: Undersea robots to trigger the blowout preventer, the large containment dome, the top hat, the top kill, the junk shot…. the list goes on. And we still don’t have any certainty of how much oil has leaked into the Gulf of Mexico since the April 20th explosion.

What we do have are estimates — from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), from outside experts, from British Petroleum — of how fast crude oil is flowing out of the remaining leaks. According to NOAA, an estimated 840,000 gallons a day is coming from the remaining ruptures, but BP warns it could be as bad as 2.5 million gallons a day.

But those numbers, while overwhelming, can also feel abstract. So, Ifitwasmyhome.com is helping people visualize how big the spill really is. By taking data released daily from the NOAA that details where the spill is going to be within the next 24 hours, the site illustrates to visitors what the spill would be like if it hit their hometown.