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Storm warning for site of BP oil spill

marciadottin, [email protected]

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GULF OF MEXICO – British Petroleum (BP) workers in the Gulf of Mexico have stopped drilling a relief well and are preparing to evacuate the oil spill site as a tropical depression nears.There is a 20-30 per cent chance of tropical storm force winds (39mph/63kph or more) at the spill site by Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center says.Because of the slow-moving vessels at the spill site, evacuation plans are alreadywell under way.Work on the relief well could be suspended for up to two weeks.A “packer” – a plug used during storms – has been placed in the relief well to stabilise it.The government’s incident commander, Thad Allen, along with BP, must decide whether to leave the well shut during any storm, or to open it and allow oil to gush out into the sea.The tropical depression is over the Bahamas but is travelling west-northwest at 15mph. It could become a tropical storm later today. Storm warnings are in force in the Bahamas and on much of the Florida coastline.A reconnaissance flight is being sent to investigate the depression. Shell Oil has already begun to evacuate employees stationed out in the Gulf. (BBC)