Storm Beta made landfall on Monday night on the state’s upper coast, near Matagorda Bay (5 miles north of Port O’Connor), the National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned. The phenomenon is causing heavy rains throughout the state’s coastal area.
Tropical Storm Beta advances inland Texas with heavy rains and sustained maximum winds of 40 miles per hour.
At least 10 million people are on alert for the storm, which has already caused flooding in parts of the Texas coast, such as the Houston area.
There’s a warning of a tropical storm from Port Aransas, Texas, to Sabine Pass, on the Texas-Louisiana border.
In its latest update, the NHC assured that they anticipate Beta to stop inland Texas on Tuesday, but then will begin moving slowly east-northeast tonight. Heavy rains continue on parts of Texas’ mid- and high-coast.
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) September 22, 2020
Slowly advancing Storm Beta – at a speed of 3 miles per hour – threatens to produce rain buildups of between 5 and 10 inches, with isolated totals of up to 15, from the average Texas coast to southeastern Louisiana.
Storm Beta is located 45 miles west-northwest of Matagorda Bay and 35 miles north-northwest of Port O’Connor.
One to two tornadoes are also expected on Tuesday near the mid-to-upper Texas coast or southwest Louisiana. The tide generated by the combination of Beta and a cold front over the northern Gulf of Mexico will continue along the coast of both states over the next few days. These storm surges are likely to cause “life-threatening” sea currents.
Experts assured residents that Beta was not expected to cause damage such as Hurricane Harvey or Tropical Storm Imelda. Harvey in 2017 threw more than 50 inches of rain over Houston, causing $125 billion in damages in Texas. Imelda, which hit Southeast Texas last year, was one of the wettest cyclones known.
In Galveston, an island town southeast of Houston, there were already some streets flooded by rising tides and part of a popular fishing pier collapsed due to strong waves. The streets also flooded in Rockport, northeast of Corpus Christi.
On Monday, Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration for 29 Texas counties prior to Beta’s arrival. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency.
In an unusually active Atlantic hurricane season, meteorologists ran out of letters of the traditional alphabet to name storms before Friday and had to resort to the Greek alphabet for the second time since the 1950s.