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Tropical Storm Alex gaining strength over Gulf

Jun 28, 2010 6:18:00 AM - thestate.com
Tropical Storm Alex was gaining strength Monday as it swirled across the Gulf of Mexico on a path toward Mexico's northeastern coast that threatened to push oil from the massive spill farther inland.

The tropical storm's center wasn't expected to approach the area of the oil spill off Louisiana's coast, said Stacy Stewart, senior hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center in Miami. But Alex's outer wind field could push oil from the spill farther inland and hinder operations in the area, Stewart said early Monday.

Forecasters also said Alex could become a hurricane later in the day or on Tuesday.

Its heavy rains were expected to begin lashing the Mexican states of Tamaulipas or Veracruz around midweek.

Alex's heavy rains caused flooding and mudslides that left at least four people dead in Central America over the weekend, though Belize and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula appeared largely unscathed.

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