Oil and natural gas producers in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico began evacuating workers and shutting in output as a storm gathers strength off the coast of Florida.PropertyExcess & Surplus Lines
The system sitting 100 miles (160 kilometers) southwest of Apalachicola, Florida, has a 90% chance of organizing into a depression or escalating into Tropical Storm Barry late Wednesday or early Thursday, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.
An Air Force Reserve plane is scheduled to fly into the system later.
The storm will likely sweep quickly through the Gulf, keeping production impacts shortlived. But it could drop as much as 10 inches (25 centimeters) of rain in Louisiana and Mississippi over seven days, according to the U.S. Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.