Hanna, the first hurricane of the 2020Atlantic season, may cause a few tornadoes in parts of the lower to middle Texas coastal plain on Saturday afternoon and in overnight hours, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
The storm was located about 70 miles (115 kilometers) south of Corpus Christi in Texas, packing maximum sustained winds of90 miles per hour (150 kph) on Saturday afternoon, according to the NHC.
“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 forecaster said.
On Padre Island, where forecasters said hurricane-force winds were offshore on Saturday afternoon, pelting rain and strong gusts of wind were rocking palm trees and the beach was already underwater, according to video footage on Twitter.
Hanna could cause “life-threatening surf” and a few tornadoes overnight on the Texas coastal plain, the NHC said.
The storm is not expected to affect offshore oil and gas production. Energy companies have not evacuated workers or shutdown production from their Gulf of Mexico platforms because of Hanna.
Hanna is projected to come ashore between Corpus Christi and Brownsville, a region that has struggled to contain outbreaks ofCOVID-19 in recent weeks. Cases along the state’s coast have soared into the tens of thousands, and more than 400 people in Corpus Christi’s city of 325,000 were hospitalized with the novel coronavirus on Friday, according to city data.
Corpus Christi Mayor Joe McComb warned residents who live in flood-prone areas to heed coronavirus precautions when deciding to evacuate, the Texas Tribune reported.