Source Pravda.Ru

Hurricane Alex Disrupts Oil Cleaning in Gulf of Mexico

Dozens of small skiffs, huge shrimp boats and even a swamp tour boat were tied to docks, winds whipping their flags and waves rocking them even in the sheltered marina.

Most days, the fleet would be skimming oil from the Gulf of Mexico and ferrying workers and supplies. But Hurricane Alex churning in the Gulf turned many people fighting the massive 11-week-old spill into spectators on Tuesday. And they will be for days.

"Yesterday we had redcaps instead of white caps," said Jesse Alling, a marine science technician with the Coast Guard, The Associated Press reports.

Hurricane Alex, which has been rated as Category 1, is moving slowly towards the Texas/Mexico border where it is expected to hit land.

Although the bad weather is expected to miss major oil drilling sites, the rough seas mean efforts to control the leak from the Deepwater Horizon rig have been delayed.

Controlled burning of crude on the water's surface, flights spraying dispersant chemicals and booming operations were all halted on Tuesday.

Waves reaching 12ft (4m) are also expected to delay BP's plans to hook up a further system to capture oil gushing out of the well.

The waves are also washing more of the sticky oil towards the shore in parts of the area that has now been affected by the disaster for 72 days, Sky News reports.