Alex unleashed 105 mph winds along the Texas-Mexico border as it roared inland as a Category 2 hurricane south of Brownsville, Texas on Wednesday night.
Now downgraded to a tropical storm, Alex was a blow to efforts to control the BP oil spill along the Gulf Coast, where skimming operations have been suspended for several days.
Waves churned by Alex, 600 miles away, pushed giant blobs of tar and dark brown patches of oil onto shorelines from the Florida Panhandle to Louisiana’s marshes.
Oil-weary residents on Alabama’s coast got a boost from Jimmy Buffett, who put on an impromptu free show at his sister’s restaurant in Gulf Shores on Wednesday night.
He had planned a Thursday concert to bring back tourists to the beaches. The show was postponed until July 11.
Buffett’s Margaritaville Hotel is still on schedule to open July 3 in Pensacola, Fla.