Storm could hamper monitoring of BP well site

July 24, 2010 02:24

ON THE GULF OF MEXICO — Ships monitoring BP's broken oil well stood fast Friday as the remnants of Tropical Storm Bonnie blew toward the spill site, threatening to force a full evacuation that would leave engineers clueless about whether a makeshift cap on the gusher was holding.

Vessels connected to deep-sea robots equipped with cameras and seismic devices would be among the last to flee and would ride out the rough weather if possible, retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said.

"If conditions allow, they will remain through the passage of the storm," Allen said in New Orleans.

Bonnie made landfall south of Miami early Friday as a feeble tropical storm with top sustained winds of 40 mph (64 kph). It broke apart as it crossed Florida and was a tropical depression as it moved into the Gulf, but forecasters expected it to strengthen slightly and roll over the spill site around midday Saturday.

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