Hurricane Hanna lashes virus-hit Texas

International Desk
26 July 2020, Sun
Published: 05:43

Hurricane Hanna lashes virus-hit Texas

Hurricane Hanna, the first hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season made landfall twice as a Category 1 storm on Saturday afternoon within the span of little over an hour in Texas.

The first landfall happened at around 5pm about 24 kilometers north of Port Mansfield, which is about 209km south of Corpus Christi. The second landfall took place nearby in eastern Kenedy County, reports AP.

Hanna had come ashore with maximum sustained winds of 145 kph. As of Saturday night, those winds had weakened to 120 kph.

Many parts of Texas, including areas near where Hanna came ashore, have been dealing with a surge in coronavirus cases in recent weeks, but local officials said they were fully prepared for the storm.

Chris Birchfield, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Brownsville, said residents needed to remain alert. While Hanna's winds were expected to weaken throughout Saturday night, the storm’s real threat remained heavy rainfall, he said.

“We’re not even close to over at this point. We’re still expecting catastrophic flooding,” Birchfield said.

Forecasters said Hanna could bring 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 centimeters) of rain through Sunday night — with isolated totals of 18 inches (46 centimeters) — in addition to coastal swells that could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

Some areas in South Texas had reported receiving up to 23 centimeters. Rainfall totals were expected to rise throughout the evening and into Sunday. “It’s been all day,” Melissa Elizardi, a spokeswoman for Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño, said of the rainfall.