Hurricane Hanna's 'mesmerizing' landfall in Texas seen from space, 'significant' rains present flood threat
Written by kslmadmin on July 26, 2020
The might of the first hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic season could be seen from space as the storm made landfall on Saturday, bringing with it a flooding threat to southeast Texas through the remainder of the weekend.
Hanna, now a tropical storm, made landfall twice as a Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph along the Texas Gulf Coast, first roaring ashore around 5 p.m. about 15 miles north of Port Mansfield. The second landfall took place in Kenedy County.
The National Weather Service (NWS) in Corpus Christi shared a “mesmerizing” video that shows Hanna’s eye visible from space as it made landfall.
The video from a satellite compresses just over an hour of imagery into four seconds, from 4:21 pm to 5:31 pm, according to the NWS. The video then loops to show the storm’s approach slowed down.
Astronaut Doug Hurley also tweeted a photo that showed Hanna’s eye from space on Saturday as the storm made landfall.
Images last week from astronaut Chris Cassidy showed Hanna organizing over the Gulf of Mexico.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami said Sunday morning that Hanna is packing maximum sustained winds of 50 mph as it produces heavy rain and dangerous flash flooding over far southeast Texas and into northeast Mexico, moving at 9 mph west-southwest about 55 miles west of McAllen, Texas.
“We have a lot of flooding concerns that are still in place; the rain still falling across South Texas,” he said.
Forecasters said Hanna could bring 6 to 12 inches of rain, with isolated maximum amounts of 18 inches through Monday in south Texas and in neighboring locations in northeast Mexico.
“This rain will produce life-threatening flash flooding, rapid rises on small streams, and isolated minor to moderate river flooding,” the NHC said.
Some areas in south Texas had already reported receiving up to 9 inches of rain, including Cameron County, which borders Mexico and is where Brownsville is located.
“It’s been all day,” Melissa Elizardi, a spokeswoman for Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño, told The Associated Press.
More than 43,700 people throughout south Texas, including Corpus Christi, Harlingen and Brownsville, were without power Saturday evening, according to AEP Texas.
In a tweet, President Trump said his administration was monitoring Hanna, along with Hurricane Douglas, which was heading toward Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean.
The U.S. Coast Guard was called to help with the rescue of a couple on a sailboat that was taking on water Saturday evening in a harbor near Corpus Christi, spokesperson Paige Hause said. A water rescue team assisted in getting the couple back to land without injuries.
Texas officials have incorporated social distancing guidelines and mask-wearing in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Abbott said Saturday that some sheltering would take place in hotel rooms so people could be separated.
“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,” Abbott said.
In neighboring Mexico, officials in Tamaulipas disinfected shelters to try to avoid spreading COVID-19, the state’s governor, Francisco Cabeza de Vaca, tweeted. Meanwhile, the civil protection department was sending rescue boats and other equipment to northern Nuevo Leon because heavy rains were expected.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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