The hurricane season has officially begun in the Gulf of Mexico and coastal residents are bracing themselves for the worst as Hurricane Alex moves slowly west. It is expected to make landfall in northern Mexico tonight, and may dump 30 centimetres of rain there.
The hurricane’s most dangerous effects, the winds, are likely to miss the major oil drilling areas and the Deepwater disaster site.
“We are worried that the oil washes in with the high tide and it gets into our neighbourhood back here,” says a Louisiana resident.
But four metre high waves means BP’s damage control operation is on hold, perhaps for as long as two weeks. The weather is not expected to affect the drilling of two relief wells which should end the leak in August.
However Alex is the first June storm in 15 years to gain hurricane strength in the Atlantic, and the season lasts until the end of November. An active storm season is predicted. The region’s weather worries are just beginning.