Former hurricane Hanna has moved into northeastern Mexico after being downgraded to a tropical storm before it left Texas on Sunday, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
Why it matters: The former Category 1 storm has been lashing southern Texas communities hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with powerful winds and heavy rains that could still trigger “catastrophic flooding,” a National Weather Service meteorologist told AP.
- It was the first hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic season, and the first to reach the Texas Gulf Coast since Harvey in 2017.
What’s happening: The NHC announced Sunday morning that a storm surge warning for the Texas coast had been discontinued, but it’s unclear the extent of the damage that Hanna has caused while in Texas. The above video shows the moment the storm ripped off part of a pier in Corpus Christi.
- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has issued a Disaster Declaration for 32 counties and requested a Federal Emergency Declaration from President Trump and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
- “Any hurricane is an enormous challenge,” Abbott said at a news briefing Saturday, “This challenge is complicated and made even more severe, seeing that it is sweeping through an area that is the most challenged area in the state for COVID-19.”
Background: The eye of the storm made landfall about 5 p.m. local time as a Category 1 hurricane on Texas’ Padre Island, packing maximum winds of 90 mph — “just 6 mph shy of Category 2 status,” the Texas Division of Emergency Management noted.
- Abbott urged residents of Rio Grande Valley, Coastal Bend and the surrounding areas to “take shelter immediately.”
Of note: Another powerful storm, Hurricane Douglas, was packing maximum sustained winds of near 90 mph as it moved west-northwest toward Hawaii Saturday night, per the NHC. It’s expected to move across the islands Sunday and Monday.
- Trump tweeted on Saturday evening that his administration was “closely monitoring” both storms and coordinating closely with officials in Texas and Hawaii.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.