Gulf Oil Spill Reaches the Size of Rhode Island

(NEWSER) – The oil spilling from a sunken rig in the Gulf of Mexico has grown to more than 1,800 square miles—an area larger than Rhode Island—but crews using a robot sub have yet to be able to stop the two leaks, which sit 5,000 feet below the surface. If they can't do so quickly, they might need to drill another well to redirect the oil. That process could take about two months—but the oil could reach the white-sand beaches of Florida's Panhandle and the swamps of Louisiana in as little as three days, reports the AP.

The oil spill from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig has now reached a size of over 1,800 square miles, and it continues to grow.

The oil spill, which sits off of the coast of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico, threatens to reach the coast line of Florida, Louisiana, and the rest of the Gulf coast in three days, the AP reports.

Seemingly timed to coincide both with Earth Day and President Obama's proposed expansion of corporate access to U.S. waters for offshore oil drilling, last week's oil rig explosion and sinking that led to the presumed deaths of 11 workers highlights the risks of offshore drilling. Obama proposed an expansion of offshore oil drilling March 31, the explosion occurred April 20, and the rig capsized April 22, Earth Day.