David Shepherd: News Blog

Journalist's Notebook

Tropical Storm Alex Develops, Eyes Oil Devastated Gulf

By: David Shepherd [dshepherd@wtwo.com] – Saturday, June 26, 2010

The first tropical storm of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season has developed in the western Caribbean near Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

The latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center [6/26/10 11:00 a.m.]:

Location:  17.3 N      86.1 W

Winds: 45 MPH

Moving: WNW 9 MPH

As the tropical storm moves over the warm waters of the Caribbean, it is expected to strengthen.

A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for the coast of Belize and the east coast of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula from Chetumal to Cancun and the islands of Roatan, Guanaja and Utila in Honduras.

From there it is expected to move into the western Gulf of Mexico.  Tropical systems are very unpredictable and tracks can shift at any time. 

If the storm continues on its current track, it could pose major problems for the oil spill cleanup effort. 

Alex Could Push Oil Onshore Along Gulf Coast

No one is quite certain how Alex will affect coastal states as millions of gallons of oil continue to pour into the Gulf of Mexico.

Tropical systems rotate counter-clockwise around the center of circulation, or eye.  With the storm projected to move to the west of the BP oil spill, that counter-clockwise flow could push the oil north closer to the coastal states.

Another factor to consider is the storm surge, which pushes Gulf water inland, often flooding coastal areas.  With oil mixed in with that Gulf water, it could leave behind a thick coat of oil on the beaches, streets, neighborhoods and flooded basements.

It’s unclear what kind of clean-up effort this would require on land but many fear it could be even more devastating for the coastal areas, where the oil spill is already hurting local tourism and economies, businesses and residents.

I’ll continue to follow the latest with this developing storm and examine what could happen as Tropical Storm Alex churns toward the Gulf.

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June 26, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Police Say Woman Stabbed Couple To Steal Their Baby

By: David Shepherd with information from WTWO-TV – Terre Haute, IN – Saturday, June 26, 2010

Terre Haute, Indiana police are shocked by a 34-year-old woman’s alleged plot to kill a couple to steal their newborn baby.  Police call the case “bizarre.”

The drama unfolded Wednesday after police say Stephanie Foster approached the home of a couple asking to use their phone.  She allegedly forced herself into the home, stabbing the couple, Michael and Ashley Speer.

Vigo County sheriff Jon Marvel tells WTWO-TV  in Terre Haute, “I have never seen anything this bizarre except on TV.”

CLICK HERE for the latest on this story on mywabashvalley.com (WTWO’s website).

Marvel and Vigo County prosecutor Terry Modesitt appeared on NBC’s “The Today Show” Saturday as shock from this story spreads across the country .

June 26, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment