Hurricane Hanna lashes south Texas coast, already beset by COVID

Source: Reuters Published: 2020/7/26 19:03:40

Hurricane Hanna pummeled the south Texas coast on Saturday night with howling winds and a surging sea that threatened a broad area already contending with an intense spike in coronavirus deaths.

A family watches high swells from Hurricane Hanna from a jetty in Galveston, Texas, the US on Saturday. Photo: VCG

Hanna is the first hurricane for the 2020 Atlantic storm season, which is expected to be unlike any other in recent memory. Authorities will have to contend with sheltering and evacuating people while also maintaining social distancing protocols and other pandemic restrictions.

By nightfall, Hanna's blistering winds were ripping up the Texas coast near Corpus Christi. A deadly storm surge was expected to hit a 483-kilometer area of the shoreline, from the town of Sargent in the north to Port Mansfield in the south, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

The NHC forecast that Hanna would lose steam as it moved inland across Texas and northeastern Mexico overnight into Sunday. But the storm could dump upward of 0.46 meters of rain in the area through Monday. That could cause life-threatening flash floods, while the storm could spawn tornadoes on the coastal plains.

Hanna, a Category 1 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, came 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 said during a Saturday briefing about 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 has issued a disaster declaration for 32 counties in Texas that are in the storm's path.

On Saturday afternoon, the storm was about 121 kilometers south of the city of Corpus Christi, packing maximum sustained winds of 138 kilometers per hour, the NHC said.
Newspaper headline: Hurricane Hanna lashes virus-hit Texas coast

Posted in: AMERICAS

blog comments powered by Disqus