Tropical Depression 5 Weakens in Gulf

A tropical depression in the Gulf of Mexico has weakened slightly as it moves toward the site of the oil spill off Louisiana's coast.

The depression's maximum sustained winds decreased to near 30 mph (45 kph) Wednesday. But the National Hurricane Center says some strengthening is still possible and it could become Tropical Storm Danielle before its center reaches land.

A tropical storm warning has been issued for much of the Gulf Coast from Destin, Fla., to Intracoastal City, La., including New Orleans.

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The depression is located about 165 miles (265 kilometers) east-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River and is moving northwest.  It is forecast make landfall east of New Orleans and curl north, nortwest east of Jackson, Miss., and west of Birmingham, Ala.

Officials have halted drilling on a relief well intended to permanently plug the blown-out well in the Gulf.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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