It wasn’t Tropical Storm Alex that caused weather problems on the Coast on Monday, it was thunderstorms that downed power lines and impeded cleanup operations in the Gulf.
The thunderstorms are expected to continue off and on through the week, said Danielle Manning, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in New Orleans.
Nearly 1,300 customers were without power from 2:10 to 3:15 p.m. Monday when a power line went down at Three Rivers and O’Neal roads in Gulfport.
“Today we’ve had a lot of lightning,” said April Lollar, communications specialist with Coast Electric. Crews also were restoring smaller outages in Hancock and Pearl River counties.
Manning said the thunderstorms aren’t directly from Alex but from a tight pressure gradient between the tropical storm and a high pressure system. She said the storms will bring rainfall averaging 2.4 inches and locally-heavy rains of 6 to 8 inches during the next 5 days.
The forecast is for winds of 15-20 mph or higher over water through at least mid-week, she said.
The wind caused rough waters Monday, dislodging booms and sending to shore the Vessels of Opportunity that were cleaning up the oil off the Coast.
“We did have some local water problems today,” said BP spokesperson Richard Judy. Collection operations were able to continue at the Deepwater Horizon site. He said BP officials are watching the trajectory of the storm but at this point won’t evacuate personnel and equipment unless Alex changes directions.