A tropical storm warning has been issued across the Texas coast early Thursday. Tropical Storm Don is violently blasting its way into the central Gulf of Mexico and forecasters are telling those in the path of the storm to stay on alert over the coming days.
Don was about 635 miles east-southeast of Corpus Christi, Texas at 5 a.m. ET, the National Hurricane Center said. This is the fourth named storm of the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season.
The National Hurricane Center said, “This general motion with an increase in forward speed is expected through Friday. Some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours.”
The Center calls Don a small tropical cyclone and if continued on its projected path the storm could hit land along the southeastern coast of Texas at 1 a.m. Saturday morning.
The thousands of oil and gas production platforms in the region are particularly of major concern.
Reuters reports that Shell Oil Co, along with several other offshore energy operators evacuated workers on Wednesday.
These companies produce 29 percent of U.S. oil output and over 10 percent of domestically produced natural gas. No measures to shut down production have been reported yet.