Some Southwest Floridians are smelling more than spring in the air. They report: a distinct and somewhat annoying aroma of petroleum. They suspect the oil rig that burned in the Gulf of Mexico, and that is now putting out a huge oil slick.
"It's kind of a gassy smell, like going to a service station," said Ned Sings of Ft. Myers.
"It's oily, acrid, a smoky smell. Sort of like gasoline," said Libby Maxwell of Ft. Myers. "I have been smelling it from my balconoy, overlooking the Caloosahatchee River, the past couple of days."
The national weather service in Tampa confirmed that the winds are pushing any remnants of smoke and oil toward the west coast of Florida. The rig sank after burning, and now, satellites are seeing a huge oil slick that is about 80 miles long, and 40 wide, southeast of New Orleans.
"It is sort of annoying to smell it, but I don't think it's a major issue," said Sings.
Others wonder: what are they talking about? "I believe it is psychosomatic. They see it on TV and they hear that there is a suggestion of the oil smell, so they go out and smell oil!," said Louie Zeitler of Cape Coral. "I believe the air is fantastic, you don't find better days than today," he added, while taking a deep breath of outdoor air.