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Tropical storm Bonnie may pack an oily punch

Louisiana's coastal parishes prepare to evacuate as tropical storm Bonnie threatens to push remains of Gulf oil spill ashore.

By Staff writer / July 23, 2010

A barge hauls boom material near Grand Isle, La., Friday. Work on the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster will be stopped and workers will move out of the path of tropical storm Bonnie, projected to hit the spill area on July 24 with winds of 39 to 73 miles per hour.

Lee Celano/Reuters



On an average summer day, a storm like tropical storm Bonnie would elicit yawns from hurricane-hardened Gulf Coast residents. But with the remains of the BP oil spill bobbing just off Louisiana, concerns are rising that Bonnie could wreak havoc far beyond the capacity of a normal summer storm.

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Bonnie is expected to make landfall early Sunday near the mouth of the Mississippi River with 40 mile per hour winds and a possible four-foot storm surge. The prospect of toxic oil residue surging into low-lying communities is not sitting well with Gulf Coast residents.
Along Louisiana's coastline, parish officials are preparing residents for possible evacuation, even though oil has stopped leaking into the Gulf and hundreds of cruising skimmers could only find 50 barrels of oil to collect on Thursday. But Bonnie could give researchers insight into the extent to which kerosene dispersants have ultimately helped or hurt the Gulf oil spill relief effort.

 IN PICTURES: Destructive Oil Spills