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Though risk is low, state, locals prepare for oil from Gulf

READ MORE: Though risk is low, state, locals prepare for oil from Gulf

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- With oil spilling in large quantities in the Gulf of Mexico, some locals are concerned that it will eventually get to our beaches. The chances that it will are small, but just in case, North Carolina is taking steps to prepare for its effects.

"We're concerned, but not overly," New Hanover County EMS Director Warren Lee said. "All the models are very much saying that it's a very slim chance that we would ever see anything from this spill on our coast. Less than a one percent chance."

If it does, it would likely be diluted; small tar balls instead of the thick film in the marshes of Louisiana. If you see them, don't touch them.

"Stay away from them," Lee said. "Don't get it on your skin. If you do, wash it off with soap and water as soon as you can. Just stay away from it."

With all this stemming from a failed oil rig, drilling off our coast seems a more dubious prospect than in the past.

"Why are they still pushing for offshore drilling if they obviously can't successfully do it at all?" Anna Richardson asked as she visited Wrightsville Beach.

In its release on potential effect on the oil spill, the state wanted to reiterate that tar balls on the beach are not a new phenomenon and are actually common from activities unrelated to the Gulf oil spill. If you see them, don't panic, and don't touch them.

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