Hurricane Hanna threatens catastrophic floods in ‘double whammy’ for virus-hit Texas


Forecasters are predicting “catastrophic flooding” in southern Texas after Hurricane Hanna made landfall twice, bringing heavy rain and winds up to 90mph.

It came ashore on Saturday as a category one storm (the lowest of the five levels) and has now been downgraded to a tropical storm – but there could still be 15-30cm (6-12in) of rain on Sunday with 60mph winds.

Some areas have already reported getting up to 23cm (9in) of rainfall, including Cameron County, which borders Mexico.

Hanna was the opening hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic cyclone season, and meteorologist Chris Birchfield warned residents to stay alert, saying: “We’re not even close to over at this point. We’re still expecting catastrophic flooding.”

Texas has already been dealing with a surge in coronavirus cases in recent weeks.

Governor Greg Abbott has issued a disaster declaration for 32 counties in the storm’s path, including Harris, Fort Bend, Galveston and Brazoria.

He said: “Any hurricane is an enormous challenge. This challenge is complicated and made even more severe, seeing that it’s sweeping through an area that is the most challenged area in the state for COVID-19.”

More from Covid-19

The first landfall happened at 5pm on Saturday, 15 miles north of Port Mansfield, which is about 130 miles south of Corpus Christi.

The second took place nearby in eastern Kenedy County.

A storm surge swells in Corpus Christi Bay as Hurricane Hanna approaches
A storm surge swelled in Corpus Christi Bay as Hanna approached

More than 43,700 people in South Texas, including Corpus Christi, Harlingen and Brownsville, were without power on Saturday evening.

Emergency services in Corpus Christi have placed barricades near intersections so they are ready to use if streets flood.

In a tweet, President Donald Trump said his administration was monitoring Hanna, along with Hurricane Douglas, which was heading toward Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean.

Resident Sherry Boehme, who lives along a beach in Corpus Christi, said the approaching storm had increased the anxiety she felt during the pandemic.

The 67-year-old has mostly stayed at home because of health issues related to chronic lung disease.

She said: “It’s almost like a double whammy to us. I think it’s made a lot of people nervous.

“We’ll get through it. Everybody is good and strong and sticks together.”

Products You May Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *