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Tropical Storm Beta meanders toward Texas, spurs hurricane worries

WION logo WION 20-09-2020 wionnewsweb@gmail.com (Wion Web Team)
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Tropical Storm Beta, as of Sunday, is moving toward the shores of Texas and Louisiana, casting worries about heavy rain, flooding and storm surge across the Gulf Coast. It can make landfall in Texas either late Monday or early Tuesday.

It would be the ninth named storm to make landfall in the continental US.

Earlier predictions showed Beta could reach hurricane strength before making landfall. A hurricane watch was still in effect from Port Aransas, Texas, to High Island, Texas.

Coastal communities have, hence, begun preparing for Beta over the weekend, issuing voluntary evacuation orders.

Beta was brewing in the Gulf of Mexico, 220 miles (355 kilometers) southeast of Galveston, Texas, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said early Sunday. The storm had maximum sustained winds at 60 mph (95 kph) and was moving north at 2 mph (4 kph) early Sunday.

Little change in strength was expected as the system approaches Texas, forecasters said. 

Up to 20 inches of rain (51 centimeters) is possible in some parts of Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Forecasters were predicting up to 4 feet (1.2 meters) of storm surge from Baffin Bay, Texas, to Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge, Louisiana. Strong winds, and life-threatening surf and rip current conditions were also expected with the storm.

Forecasters ran out of traditional storm names on Friday, forcing the use of the Greek alphabet for only the second time since the 1950s.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Teddy remained a powerful hurricane Sunday, with maximum sustained winds at 115 mph (185 kph) and moving northwest at 13 mph (20 kph). Teddy was centered 375 miles (605 kilometers) south-southeast of Bermuda less than a week after Hurricane Paulette made landfall in the wealthy British territory.

Tropical Storm Wilfred was still at sea but expected to dissipate by Tuesday. Parts of the Alabama coast and Florida Panhandle were still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Sally, which roared ashore on Wednesday. At least two deaths were blamed on the system. 

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