Tropical Storm Hanna expected to hit southern Texas coast as a hurricane

Tropical Storm Hanna expected to hit southern Texas coast as a hurricane

The hurricane, which is the first of the 2020 Atlantic season, is expected to make landfall on the Texas coast Saturday afternoon or night.

In addition to generating a risky storm surge, Hurricane Hanna could dump as much as 6 to 12 inches of rain - with isolated pockets of up to 18 inches - in southern Texas and in the Mexican states of Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and northern Tamaulipas through Sunday night, forecasters said. Hanna will likely come ashore on Padre Island between Corpus Christi and Brownsville later on Saturday, said Elizabeth Palumbi, a meteorologist with Maxar in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Rainfall totals over extreme southern Texas to the Mexico border could lead to risky flash flooding.

"We cannot allow this hurricane to lead to a more catastrophically deadly event by stoking additional spread of COVID-19 that could lead to fatalities", Abbott said.

"There could be damage to buildings and structures, especially if there are any tornadoes", said Brian Field, a forecaster at the National Weather Service.

Hanna was forecast to move inland over south Texas on Saturday night, and into northeastern Mexico on Sunday. This rain may result in life-threatening flash flooding, rapid rises on small streams and isolated minor to moderate river flooding in south Texas. A tropical storm warning is in effect from Barra el Mezquital, Mexico, to Port Mansfield, Texas, and from Mesquite Bay to High Island, Texas.

Flood alerts are in place from the Mexico/Texas border to southwestern Louisiana as Hanna is expected to bring over 12 inches of rain locally to parts of southern Texas through the end of the weekend.

Hanna came almost three years after Hurricane Harvey made landfall northeast of Corpus Christi. In a statement, Abbott said he was "preparing state resources to assist communities with potential flooding and heavy rainfall".

Maximum sustained winds had increased to 75 miles per hour (120 kph).

"Gonzalo is moving toward the west near 18 miles per hour (mph) [and] a general westward to west-northwestward motion is expected during the next couple of days". The storm was forecasted to become a hurricane prior to hitting the Texas coastline.

A hurricane watch is also in effect for the Big Island, Maui, and Oahu, including Honolulu. While it will weaken as it nears the chain, Douglas will probably be at least a Category 1 hurricane at that point. While wind and coastal impact is a concern, heavy rain will occur with several inches possible and the potential for landslides/mudslides.

"My Administration is closely monitoring Hurricane Douglas off Hawaii & Hurricane Hanna, which has now made landfall in Texas", President Donald Trump tweeted. The request allows Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate emergency response efforts.

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