In addition to people in the warning area, Alex has grabbed the attention of officials running efforts to control and clean up oil from the Deepwater Horizon blow-out, now beginning its 11th week. The storm itself does not directly threaten these efforts. But by some estimates, waves it generates could top 12 feet at the recovery site. Rough seas and high winds halted oil skimming efforts in the Gulf of Mexico Tuesday. Heavy seas could also break up patches of oil on the surface, and could drive oil higher onto beaches and deeper into wetlands unprotected by barrier islands.
"We have not seen any oil being pushed much further inland," said US Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, who heads the clean-up effort, during a briefing on Monday. "We have seen the oil change direction. It was generally heading east to the panhandle of Florida. Because of wave conditions and current we now see oil start entering Mississippi sound and areas around Chandelier and Breton Sound. We're very concerned about that. We're moving forces there as we speak."