Hurricane Hanna weakens to tropical storm after causing pier collapse: reports

Hurricane Hanna made a furious entry into South Texas on Saturday but by early Sunday had weakened to a tropical storm as it moved inland.

But a big concerns for a 32-county area expected to be impacted by the storm were expected continuing heavy rainfall as well as flooding throughout the weekend.

“We’re not even close to over at this point,” Chris Birchfield, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, told The Associated Press.

RICH REICHMUTH: SOUTH TEXAS FLOODING WILL BE THE ‘BIGGEST STORY’ FROM HURRICANE HANNA

President Trump wrote on Twitter on Saturday evening that the White House was closely monitoring Hanna – as well as Hurricane Douglas, which was approaching Hawaii.

Hanna was an unwelcome guest for Texas, a state already being hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

The hurricane – the first of the 2020 Atlantic cyclone season — made landfall twice Saturday afternoon as a Category 1 hurricane – both times in little more than an hour. Its initial landfall came around 5 p.m. local time at Padre Island, then its second landfall came in Kenedy County around 6:15 p.m., the Caller Times of Corpus Christi reported.

A man holds the front on his umbrella as he fights heavy rain and wind on Seawall Boulevard in Galveston, Texas, Saturday, July 25, 2020. (Associated Press)

A man holds the front on his umbrella as he fights heavy rain and wind on Seawall Boulevard in Galveston, Texas, Saturday, July 25, 2020. (Associated Press)

HURRICANE HANNA MAKES LANDFALL IN TEXAS

But by 1 a.m. Sunday, the 90-mph wind gusts that Hanna brought with her when making landfall had slowed to around 70 mph, dropping Hanna’s status to a tropical storm, according to the National Hurricane Center.

At that time, the tropical storm was about 30 miles north-northwest of McAllen, Texas, moving about 9 miles per hour, the center reported.

Hours earlier, before it officially hit land, its ferocity was evident Saturday afternoon in Nueces County, where the force of the hurricane caused the Bob Hall Pier to collapse, according to a Facebook post by Nueces County Emergency Service District No. 2.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration on Saturday for 32 counties expected to feel the impact of the hurricane, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Heavy rains were expected to continue in the region throughout the weekend.

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Forecasters were predicting rainfall of up to 12 inches through Sunday night, with some areas seeing as much as 18 inches. Cameron County near the Mexican border, which includes Brownsville, had already seen nine inches of rain, the AP reported.

Despite its force, Hanna was not expected to be as destructive as Hurricane Harvey, the Category 4 hurricane that devastated Texas and Louisiana in August 2017. Harvey left 68 Texans dead and caused $125 billion in damage in the state, the AP reported.

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