Bonnie weakens, warnings dropped, BP moving back to well site - - The News for South Mississippi

Bonnie weakens, warnings dropped, BP moving back to well site

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - All tropical storm warnings associated with Bonnie have been dropped and BP says key ship is preparing to move back toward the site of the broken oil well as the remnants of Bonnie weaken over the Gulf.

In South Mississippi, emergency officials continue to monitor the system and low-lying areas prone to flooding. However, the threat of flooding has significantly decreased as Bonnie breaks up. The mandatory evacuation of boats from the Pass Christian Harbor has been canceled.

Harrison County Emergency Management Director Rupert Lacy told WLOX News the BP contracted teams will begin returning to beach Sunday to look for tar balls and other signs of oil debris washing ashore.  The beach teams and Vessels of Opportunity were halted in anticipation of the tropical weather.

Saturday morning, Bonnie was barely hanging on as a depression. Forecasters with the National Hurricane Center said the storm was not expected to change strength before the center reaches the coast.

A BP spokesman says the rig drilling the relief tunnel that will blast mud into the broken well to permanently seal it is getting ready to head back. The vessels relaying video images and seismic readings from undersea robots monitoring the leaky well are still in place and may be able to stay.

Tropical Storm Bonnie made landfall south of Miami early Friday as a feeble tropical storm with top sustained winds of 40 mph. It broke apart as it crossed Florida and was barely a tropical depression as it moved into the Gulf. Forecasters said it was weakening and less likely to strengthen as it neared the spill site.

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