Hurricane Alex strengthens, sends oil-soaked waves into Gulf Coast

Wednesday, June 30, 2010
By Paul Martin

AL.com
June 30, 2010

MIAMI — The first Atlantic hurricane of the year has strengthened to a Category 2 storm with sustained winds of near 100 mph (155 kph) as it plows ahead toward a collision with the Mexican Gulf coast and south Texas.

The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Alex will make landfall in northeastern Mexico sometime Wednesday night.

The storm is far from the Gulf oil spill, but cleanup vessels were sidelined by the hurricane’s ripple effects. Six-foot waves churned up by the hurricane splattered beaches in Louisiana, Alabama and Florida with oil and tar balls.

Hurricane Alex flooded roads and forced thousands of people to evacuate fishing villages.

The eye was about 55 miles (90 kilometers) northeast of La Pesca, Mexico, and about 105 miles (170 kilometers) south of Brownsville, Texas.

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