CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Tropical Storm Hanna is expected to make landfall just south of Corpus Christi, Texas as a hurricane Saturday afternoon.
As of 4:15 p.m., Hanna was packing 50 mph winds and was 195 miles east of the Texas Gulf Coast. It’s moving west at around 10 mph and getting stronger as it approaches land.
The current forecast has Hanna making landfall as a Category 1 hurricane.
New at 4 PM CDT: #Hanna is forecast to become a hurricane before reaching the Texas coast. Storm Surge & Hurricane Warnings are now in effect along portions of the Texas coast. Latest forecast information at: https://t.co/tW4KeGdBFb pic.twitter.com/g8YYOVGT5n
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) July 24, 2020
The storm is especially concerning as this area of South Texas continues to see a surge in COVID-19. Now, residents are having to prepare and brace for the oncoming storm during the pandemic.
The main hazard from Hanna was expected to be flash flooding, said Chris Birchfield, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Brownsville. Areas of South Texas could see anywhere from 3 to 8 inches of rain, with some parts possibly seeing up to 12 inches.
“We could be dealing with significant flash flooding across much of deep South Texas,” Birchfield said.
Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales said she was aware that the tropical storm would be another burden on top of the impacts from the pandemic in the county, which has about 362,000 residents.
Canales asked residents to remember their preparedness for such tropical storms along with “doing the thing that matters I think the most every single day inside the COVID-19 pandemic: Take care of each other.”
Officials reminded residents to wear their masks if they needed to get extra supplies at grocery stores or if they had to shelter with neighbors in case of flooding.
“It’s going to be difficult if you’re crowding in with another family to keep your social distancing up,” Corpus Christi Mayor Joe McComb said. “That’s going to be a challenge and we don’t want to exacerbate the COVID-19 by having to try and get together and protect ourselves during these weather events.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has announced that various resources to respond to the tropical storm are on standby across the state, including search-and-rescue teams and aircraft.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)