Tropical Storm Beta makes landfall, brings flooding to Texas

4 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago Tuesday, September 22 2020 Sep 22, 2020 Tuesday, September 22, 2020 7:00:00 AM CDT September 22, 2020 in News
By: Juan A. Lozano, The Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) — Storm surge and rainfall combined Tuesday to bring more flooding along the Texas coast after Tropical Storm Beta made landfall, threatening areas that have already seen their share of damaging weather during a busy hurricane season.

The storm made landfall late Monday just north of Port O’Connor, Texas. Early Tuesday, Beta was 35 miles (56 kilometers) north northwest of the city with maximum winds of 40 mph (64 kph), the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. The storm was moving toward the northwest near 3 mph (4 kilometers) and is expected to stall inland over Texas.

“We currently have both storm surge and rainfall going on right now,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Amaryllis Cotto in Galveston, Texas.

Cotto said 6-12 inches (15-30 centimeters) of rain has fallen in the area, with isolated amounts of up to 18 inches (45 centimeters). Dangerous flash flooding is expected through Wednesday, Cotto said.

Beta was the ninth named storm that made landfall in the continental U.S. this year. That tied a record set in 1916, according to Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach. It also was the first time a Greek letter named storm made landfall in the continental U.S. Forecasters ran out of traditional storm names on Friday, forcing the use of the Greek alphabet for only the second time since the 1950s.

Beta will move inland over southeastern Texas through Wednesday and then over Louisiana and Mississippi on Wednesday night through Friday, and the biggest unknown from Beta was how much rainfall it could produce. Beta was expected to weaken into a depression, but flash flooding was possible in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi as the system moves farther inland.

Earlier predictions of up to 20 inches (51 centimeters) in some areas were downgraded Monday to up to 15 inches (38 centimeters).

Forecasters and officials reassured residents Beta was not expected to be another Hurricane Harvey or Tropical Storm Imelda. Harvey in 2017 dumped more than 50 inches (127 centimeters) of rain on Houston, causing $125 billion in damage in Texas. Imelda, which hit Southeast Texas last year, was one of the wettest cyclones on record.

Storm surge up to 4 feet (1.2 meters) was possible in the Galveston and Beaumont areas through Wednesday morning, forecasters said. In Galveston, an island city southeast of Houston, there was already some street flooding Monday from rising tides and part of a popular fishing pier collapsed due to strong waves.

Farther south on the Texas coast, Maria Serrano Culpepper along with her two daughters and dogs left their home in Magnolia Beach near Matagorda Bay on Sunday night.

Culpepper said she didn’t want to be trapped in her home, three blocks from the beach, with wind, rain and possibly no electricity. She and her family evacuated to a friend’s home in nearby Victoria.

Culpepper said her home should be fine as it’s on stilts 13 feet (4 meters) off the ground and was built to withstand strong storms.

“I’m feeling OK now. I had two nights without sleeping because I was worried about (Beta) being a Category 1 hurricane. I calmed down when the storm lost power,” said Culpepper, who works as an engineer at a nearby chemical plant.

On Monday, Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration for 29 Texas counties ahead of Beta’s arrival.

Beta is forecast to dump heavy rain on the southwestern corner of Louisiana three weeks after the same area got pounded by Hurricane Laura. The rainfall and storm surge prompted Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards to declare a state of emergency.

In Lake Charles, Mayor Nic Hunter worried about Beta’s rainfall could set back efforts in his Louisiana community to recover after Laura, which damaged about 95% of the city’s 30,000 structures. Hunter said the worry of another storm was “an emotional and mental toll for a lot of our citizens.”

Parts of the Alabama coast and Florida Panhandle were still reeling from Hurricane Sally, which roared ashore Wednesday, causing at least two deaths.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Teddy continued its path toward Canada, with a predicted landfall in Nova Scotia early Wednesday before moving into Newfoundland on Wednesday night, forecasters said. The large and powerful storm was causing dangerous rip currents along the U.S. East Coast, and tropical storm conditions were expected to begin in Nova Scotia by Tuesday afternoon, the National Hurricane Center said.

Teddy was about 435 miles (695 kilometers) south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, early Tuesday with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph (155 kph). Teddy was expected to weaken later Tuesday and Wednesday but forecasters said it would likely be a strong, post-tropical cyclone when it moves in and over Nova Scotia.

___

Associated Press reporters Seth Borenstein in Kensington, Maryland, and Janet McConnaughey and Rebecca Santana in New Orleans and Julie Walker in New York City contributed to this report.

All contents © copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved

More News

Grid
List
KOMU 8 is happy to announce an updated and redesigned KOMU.com and KOMU 8 News app. Due to this... More >>
3 days ago Monday, October 19 2020 Oct 19, 2020 Monday, October 19, 2020 12:44:00 PM CDT October 19, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- President Donald Trump on Saturday signed into law a bipartisan bill that will make 9-8-8 the universal telephone... More >>
3 days ago Monday, October 19 2020 Oct 19, 2020 Monday, October 19, 2020 9:54:00 AM CDT October 19, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
CPS elementary families prepare students for in-person learning Elementary students enrolled in Columbia Public Schools will begin attending... More >>
3 days ago Monday, October 19 2020 Oct 19, 2020 Monday, October 19, 2020 4:21:00 AM CDT October 19, 2020 in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY- Missouri has seen a rise in crime in recent years. The most recent FBI Uniform Crime Reporting... More >>
3 days ago Sunday, October 18 2020 Oct 18, 2020 Sunday, October 18, 2020 9:22:00 PM CDT October 18, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - By now you’re aware science tells us the only way to slow our rapidly changing climate is to... More >>
3 days ago Sunday, October 18 2020 Oct 18, 2020 Sunday, October 18, 2020 8:54:00 PM CDT October 18, 2020 in Climate
COLUMBIA– Elementary students enrolled in Columbia Public Schools will begin attending school for classes starting Monday. Many parents... More >>
3 days ago Sunday, October 18 2020 Oct 18, 2020 Sunday, October 18, 2020 6:27:00 PM CDT October 18, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Candidates for Missouri's District 19 State Senate seat condemned a false text message reportedly sent to voters this... More >>
3 days ago Sunday, October 18 2020 Oct 18, 2020 Sunday, October 18, 2020 3:34:00 PM CDT October 18, 2020 in News
(CNN) - Blazes roaring through Colorado and Utah have pushed people from their homes and caused damage that officials have... More >>
4 days ago Sunday, October 18 2020 Oct 18, 2020 Sunday, October 18, 2020 1:15:03 PM CDT October 18, 2020 in News
(CNN) - If you're unable to get a cell phone signal when you walk your dog around the block, this... More >>
4 days ago Sunday, October 18 2020 Oct 18, 2020 Sunday, October 18, 2020 12:10:00 PM CDT October 18, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. Layered bar/line... More >>
4 days ago Sunday, October 18 2020 Oct 18, 2020 Sunday, October 18, 2020 9:40:00 AM CDT October 18, 2020 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Boone County Democrats and Republicans have found common ground -- voting this year is confusing. "Our primary... More >>
4 days ago Saturday, October 17 2020 Oct 17, 2020 Saturday, October 17, 2020 4:01:00 PM CDT October 17, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- Get ready for the most difficult months yet in this pandemic. The fall Covid-19 surge is here... More >>
4 days ago Saturday, October 17 2020 Oct 17, 2020 Saturday, October 17, 2020 3:08:39 PM CDT October 17, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The attorney for a Black Missouri woman whose arrest when she was nine-months pregnant sparked... More >>
5 days ago Saturday, October 17 2020 Oct 17, 2020 Saturday, October 17, 2020 11:06:05 AM CDT October 17, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. Layered bar/line... More >>
5 days ago Saturday, October 17 2020 Oct 17, 2020 Saturday, October 17, 2020 9:32:00 AM CDT October 17, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- The federal government has made a deal with retail pharmacies CVS and Walgreens to help distribute coronavirus vaccine... More >>
5 days ago Friday, October 16 2020 Oct 16, 2020 Friday, October 16, 2020 8:27:00 PM CDT October 16, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri State Highway Patrol held a forum on the use of force and training Friday morning.... More >>
5 days ago Friday, October 16 2020 Oct 16, 2020 Friday, October 16, 2020 7:00:00 PM CDT October 16, 2020 in News
CLAYTON — The ousted diversity director for St. Louis County alleges in a lawsuit that she was dismissed in retaliation... More >>
5 days ago Friday, October 16 2020 Oct 16, 2020 Friday, October 16, 2020 6:02:00 PM CDT October 16, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA- COVID-19 continues to make a ruckus in the SEC football schedule. KOMU 8 Sports has confirmed Missouri will... More >>
5 days ago Friday, October 16 2020 Oct 16, 2020 Friday, October 16, 2020 5:48:00 PM CDT October 16, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 81°
2pm 81°
3pm 82°
4pm 82°
5pm 81°