Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to arrive in Pensacola, Florida late this afternoon to monitor the ongoing response to the BP oil spill.
He plans to meet with national incident commander Adm. Thad Allen and Florida Governor Charlie Crist.
"I hope that he takes home with him the urgency and the importance of maintaining the level of skimmers, heavy equipment and other things to keep our beaches and our coastline as clean as we possibly can while we're dealing with this catastrophic problem," Crist said. "And I think he will."
The vice president's visit comes as crews work to remove a new wave of tar balls that began washing up on the shores of Pensacola Beach late yesterday, driven by heavy winds and surf.
Although Tropical Storm Alex is expected to make landfall far to the west of the Florida Panhandle, some local officials worry that the storm system's outlying winds will push more oil north toward their coast.