[Updated 10:10 p.m.] BP has begun evacuating non-essential personnel from three of their rigs in the far south of the Gulf of Mexico ahead of Tropical Storm Alex, a spokesman confirmed.
The evacuations did not apply to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response, BP spokesman Neil Chapman said.
The company began evacuating today and will continue tomorrow as a precaution. Chapman did not have an immediate number on personnel being evacuated, but said the evacuation will not effect production on the rigs.
Alex - the first named storm of what is expected to be a fierce Atlantic hurricane season - formed in the Caribbean on Saturday. As of 8 p.m. ET, it had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph as it headed toward Belize and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.
A tropical storm warning is in effect for the coast of Belize and the east coast of the Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula from Chetumal to Cancun.
Read more here on CNN.com.
Editor's note: CNN All-Platform Journalist Jim Spellman filed this post on his recent reporting on alleged Osama bin Laden hunter, Gary Faulkner:
For the last week or so I have been immersed in the world of Gary Faulkner, the man who went to Pakistan to hunt for Osama bin Laden.
I’ve spent time with most of his family, researched his criminal record and talked to his neighbors - but nothing prepared me to actually meet the larger than life amateur bounty hunter.
The National Hurricane Center at 5 a.m. ET upgraded Tropical Depression One to Tropical Storm Alex.
The storm was 220 miles east of Belize, moving west-northwest toward Belize and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula with maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour.
If the storm moves into the Gulf of Mexico, it could seriously hamper efforts to collect oil spilling from BP's damaged Deepwater Horizon rig.