Gov. Charlie Crist today declared a state of emergency for six Panhandle counties because the oil spill from the Deepwater Horizon platform threatens Florida's coasts "with a major disaster." The governor's office reports that he has been flooded with phone calls from concerned residents regarding the spill.
Crist has also scheduled a conference call on the subject with Homeland Security Secretary
Janet Napolitano and other federal officials at 12:45. After declaring the emergency, Crist formally apointed David Halstead to be director of the Division of Emergency Management. He had been serving as interim director since January.