First tropical storm of the season heads toward Texas, causing severe flooding

The United States was battered by extreme weather on Wednesday, with Texas bracing for the first tropical storm of the hurricane season while the Northeast still faces a major heatwave.

South Texas is bracing for a major storm to hit late Wednesday and Thursday, with significant flash flooding likely., according to forecasters.

The weather system, currently called Potential Tropical Cyclone 1, is expected to be upgraded and renamed Tropical Storm Alberto by the time it makes landfall on the Gulf Coast early Thursday.

Tropical storm warnings are in place along the Texas coast, from the San Luis Pass to the mouth of the Rio Grande, with high winds and up to 10 to 15 inches of rain expected in Corpus Christi. The state government has triggered a large-scale emergency response in anticipation of widespread flooding.

The National Weather Center office in Houston said as of 4:30 a.m. (5:30 a.m. ET) that coastal flooding had already been reported as rain moved inland.

“The disturbance is very significant, with precipitation, coastal flooding and winds likely occurring away from the center along the coasts of Texas and northeastern Mexico,” the National Hurricane Center said in an update. day.

The hurricane center also said Wednesday morning that life-threatening mudslides were likely in the highest areas of northern Mexico, including around the cities of Monterrey and Ciudad Victoria.

Tuesday evening, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the State Division of Emergency Management to place the Texas State Emergency Operations Center at a Level 2 readiness level, meaning it began operations 24 hours a day.

“As we prepare for severe tropical weather, Texas is activating all necessary personnel and resources to support Texans and communities that will potentially be impacted by excessive rain and flooding,” he said in a statement.

The Texas A&M Forest Service has mobilized four teams consisting of 100 personnel and 24 vehicles, while the Texas National Guard has three platoons of more than 40 personnel total, as well as 20 vehicles, including Chinook helicopters.

Weather services have asked residents in affected areas to have five to seven days’ worth of food, water and other essentials.

The storm warning came as 71 million people were under some form of heat advisory or warning Wednesday, with a severe heat wave expected to last through Friday.

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