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Hurricane Alex heading toward Mexico & Texas coastlines, but staying away from spill


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Hurricane Alex heading toward Mexico and Texas coastlines, but staying away from Gulf oil spill

 

NY Daily News Wire and THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Reports

 

Wednesday, June 30th 2010

 

 

BROWNSVILLE, Texas -"Alex became the first Atlantic hurricane of the season late Tuesday as the storm gained strength while churning toward the Mexico and Texas coastlines but stayed mercifully far from the massive Gulf oil spill.

 

The National Hurricane Center in Miami upgraded the storm to a Category 1 hurricane shortly before 10 p.m. CDT after measuring sustained winds of 75 mph. Alex is the first June hurricane in the Atlantic since 1995, the hurricane center said.

 

The storm was 255 miles southeast of Brownsville as of 10 p.m., moving west at about 9 mph. Forecasters expected it to move west-northwest and to make landfall Wednesday evening south of Matamoros, Mexico, about 100 miles south of Brownsville, with winds of 90 mph or faster.

 

People on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border began preparing for the storm days ago. Alex is expected to be at the low-end of the hurricane strength spectrum, but still will bring torrential rains to a Rio Grande delta region ill-suited, both economically and geographically, to handle it.

 

Passing showers Tuesday quickly pooled along parts of downtown streets in Brownsville and Matamoros, a worrisome sign with Alex expected to dump 8 to 12 inches of rain in the region and as much as 20 inches in isolated areas.

 

Nearly 400,000 people live in Cameron County at the southernmost tip of Texas, one of the poorest counties in the U.S. Across the Rio Grande, Matamoros is a sprawling example of the border's explosive growth. Colonias, slapdash communities of fragile housing and little to no infrastructure, cling to its outer edges and house some 13,000 families in the lowest lying areas.

 

Farther north in the Gulf of Mexico, BP PLC and the Coast Guard called ships skimming oil from the water back to shore Tuesday because Alex was making seas too rough to work. Waves were as high as 12 feet in some parts of the Gulf. Only the vessels used to capture or burn oil and gas leaking from the well and to drill two relief wells were left at sea."

 

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/2010/06/30/2010-06-30_hurricane_alex_heading_toward_mexico_and_texas_coastlines_but_staying_away_from_.html

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