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Jul 21, 2010 1:13 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Storms threaten to shut down BP's Gulf well work

Storms are threatening to delay BP's undersea efforts to permanently plug the leaky well in the Gulf of Mexico.

The federal government's oil spill chief says Wednesday that if a storm moves into the Gulf, ships would have to leave and BP couldn't observe the capped well. They could decide to open the cap that's choked off the flow of oil for nearly a week.

Scientists are closely watching to determine if the cap is displacing pressure and causing leaks underground.

Federal forecasters say the storm system is weakening as it moves over Puerto Rico, Haiti and the Dominican Republic and toward the Gulf. But it has a 60 percent chance of becoming a tropical storm by Friday.

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