Texas Hill Country News

Tropical Storm Hanna Hits Texas in the Midst of Pandemic Pressures

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Tropical storm Hanna, downgraded from a hurricane, bashed the Texas Gulf Coast on Sunday, July 26, 2020. Torrential rain and high winds flooded streets, destroyed boats, knocked out electricity throughout much of the region, which has already been feeling the strain from pandemic pressures. The National Hurricane Center reported that Hanna lingered over the U.S.-Mexico border, and was anticipated to drop up to 18 inches of precipitation over parts of northeastern Mexico and South Texas. With it, winds were expected to be close to 50 mph in strength.

Tropical Storm Hanna Hits Texas in the Midst of Pandemic Pressures

Photo: @karenhartman via Twenty20

Across the region, shelters have been opened in schools, hotels, and gymnasiums. Border communities with health care systems already feeling the strain from COVID-19 cases are now facing power outages, downed trees, and damage to hospitals, treatment areas, and offices as a result of Hanna. In the meantime, the Texas Gulf Coast chapter of the Red Cross will be opening more shelters that have reduced capacity, in an effort to ensure social distancing is maintained, according to Henry Van De Putte, CEO. A medical professional is said to be assigned to each space, and those looking for refuge as well as shelter volunteers will undergo temperature checks. Every emphasis on safety, in the face of the pandemic, is being made.

Tropical Storm Hanna Hits Texas in the Midst of Pandemic Pressures

Photo: @marn123424 via Twenty20

Hanna was the first Atlantic season hurricane to blow ashore this year. It reached land a short distance from Port Mansfield (approximately 130 miles south of Corpus Christi,) and registered as a Category 1 storm on Saturday, July 25, 2020, bringing with it winds that were clocked at 90 mph. According to AEP Texas, over 155K were left without power on Sunday afternoon throughout South Texas as a result of the storm. This included Brownsville, Harlingen, and Corpus Christi, in Nueces and Cameron Counties – both of which recently set headlines with pandemic cases. In the midst of this, tropical storm Hanna came ashore close to three years following Hurricane Harvey, thankfully at far less a destructive rate.