Houston, July 26
Hurricane Hanna pummeled the south Texas coast on Saturday night time with howling winds and a surging sea that threatened a broad space already contending with an intense spike in coronavirus deaths.
Hanna is the primary hurricane for the 2020 Atlantic storm season, which is predicted to be in contrast to another in current reminiscence. Authorities should take care of sheltering and evacuating folks whereas additionally sustaining social distancing protocols and different pandemic restrictions.
By dusk, Hanna’s blistering winds have been ripping up the Texas coast close to Corpus Christi. A lethal storm surge was anticipated to hit a 300-mile space of the shoreline, from the city of Sargent within the north to Port Mansfield within the south, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) stated.
The NHC forecast that Hanna would lose steam because it moved inland throughout Texas and northeastern Mexico in a single day into Sunday. But the storm may dump upward of 18 inches of rain within the space by means of Monday. That may trigger life-threatening flash floods, whereas the storm may spawn tornadoes on the coastal plains.
Hanna, a Category 1 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, got here ashore on Padre Island Saturday afternoon and later made a second landfall in Eastern Kennedy County, Texas.
“Any hurricane is an enormous challenge,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott stated throughout a Saturday briefing concerning the storm.
“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.”
Abbott issued a catastrophe declaration for 32 counties in Texas which are within the storm’s path.
On Saturday afternoon, the storm was about 75 miles (121 km) south of the town of Corpus Christi, packing most sustained winds of 85 miles per hour (138 kph), the NHC stated.
“The combination of a dangerous 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 NHC stated.
The storm isn’t anticipated to have an effect on offshore oil and gasoline manufacturing. Energy firms haven’t evacuated employees or shut down manufacturing from their Gulf of Mexico platforms due to Hanna.
The Texas space struck by Hanna has struggled to include outbreaks of COVID-19 in current weeks. Cases alongside the state’s coast have soared into the tens of hundreds, and greater than 400 folks in Corpus Christi’s metropolis of 325,000 have been hospitalized with the novel coronavirus on Friday, in response to metropolis information.
Corpus Christi Mayor Joe McComb warned residents who dwell in flood-prone areas to heed coronavirus precautions when deciding to evacuate.
“Take several masks with you because you might be there a couple days if you’re in a flood area,” McComb stated, in response to the Tribune. “We don’t want to expose anyone during this storm. … Even when you’re in the house, I recommend wearing a mask if you’re in crowded conditions.” Reuters