Hurricane Hanna batters southern Texas

Tuesday, 28 Jul, 2020

Some areas in South Texas had already reported receiving up to 9 inches (23 centimeters) of rain, including Cameron County, which borders Mexico and where Brownsville is located. "These rains will result in life-threatening flash flooding", and some river flooding, meteorologists said earlier.

"The combination of a risky storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline, " the Miami-based Hurricane Center said.

"Any hurricane is an enormous challenge", Governor Greg Abbott said in a news conference Saturday (local time).

The hurricane came as the number of coronavirus infections continues to surge across Texas, which has reported more than 389,000 cases and almost 5,000 deaths.

But a big concerns for a 32-county area expected to be impacted by the storm were expected continuing heavy rainfall as well as flooding throughout the weekend.

Allen Heath surveys the damage to a private marina after it was hit by Hurricane Hanna, Sunday, July 26, 2020, in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Hanna, the first hurricane of the Atlantic season, arrived as southeast communities were wrestling with how to plan for natural disasters on top of a public health emergency that makes emergency responses like mass evacuations and crowded shelters untenable.

"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", he said.

Hanna is now a Category One hurricane, the lowest level on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale.

A flash flood watch remains in effect for the entire Rio Grande Valley until this evening.

"Isolated tornadoes are possible through this evening across parts of south Texas".

"A gradual weakening is expected over the next 28 hours, but Douglas should remain a hurricane as it moves through the islands, "said the US Meteorological Institute". Should Douglas do so, it will be only the third in modern history after Hurricane Dot in 1959 and Hurricane Iniki in 1992.

Hanna was forecast to move inland over south Texas on Saturday night, and into north-eastern Mexico on Sunday. The storm slipped north of the island of Oahu, home to most of Hawaii's military bases.

Aerial video footage has revealed extensive damage and flooding from the storm in some areas.

Observation reports throughout the island by the Hawaii County Police and Fire Departments report that all roads are open and no heavy rains, strong winds, nor damaging surf conditions have occurred.