System in the Gulf of Mexico could form into tropical depression


(CNN) — People along the Gulf Coast, from houston to Mobile, Alabama, are being told to prepare for severe weather.

The National Weather Service says there is a high chance for tropical depression formation in the northern Gulf of Mexico during the next couple of days.

Heavy rainfall is expected from the upper Texas coast to the Florida Panhandle.

Further north, severe thunderstorms are possible into wednesday night across portions of the upper Great Lakes into middle Mississippi Valley including St. Louis and Chicago.

There is also a flood warning for the Mississippi River including the New Orleans area, where authorities are now working to close several flood gates.

BP has begun removing offshore personnel and shutting-in production at BP-operated facilities across the Gulf.

It will continue to monitor offshore conditions to determine when conditions are safe to redeploy personnel and resume operations.

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