Satellite image published by the National Hurricane Center, a division of the United States' NOAA/National Weather Service, on its Facebook page on July 25, 2020 shows the eye of Hurricane Hanna over southern 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."
HOUSTON, July 26 (Xinhua) -- Hanna, the first hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, has made landfall in the U.S. state of Texas, with maximum winds of 90 mph and heavy rains.
Hanna morphed from a tropical storm into a Category 1 hurricane on Saturday and made landfall on Padre Island at 5 p.m. CDT (2200 GMT), about 33 miles (53 km) south of Corpus Christi, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Heavy rain, strong winds and storm surge impacted the southern Texas coast. "Significant structural damage" and a gust up to 83 mph were reported in nearby Port Mansfield, the National Weather Service in Brownsville said in a tweet on Saturday afternoon.
Some meteorologists warned of flash flooding and local authorities asked residents to stay home. Officials in Nueces County warned of dangerous storm surge and flooding, while in Willacy County, officials advised people in Port Mansfield to evacuate.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration for 32 counties in Texas on Saturday in view of "a threat of imminent disaster, including property damage and loss of life, due to widespread flooding, storm surge, and hurricane force winds." Many of the counties have been ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic in recent weeks.
"Any hurricane is an enormous challenge," 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."
More than 68,000 homes and businesses were without power across Texas as of 8 p.m. CDT Saturday (0100 GMT Sunday), mostly in the coastal region where Hanna came ashore, according to PowerOutage.US, a website that collects live power outage data from utilities all over the country.
"My Administration is closely monitoring Hurricane Douglas off Hawaii & Hurricane Hanna, which has now made landfall in Texas. We continue to coordinate closely with both states," U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday night.
Hanna, expected to weaken quickly as it moves inland, is now moving westward across South Texas, according to the Weather Channel reports. ■