Rainy Beta Lands on Texas Coast as Tropical Storm

September 22, 2020

Slow-moving Tropical Storm Beta made landfall on the Texas coast on Sept. 21 at around 10 pm near the Matagorda Peninsula, packing heavy rains and sustained winds of around 45 mph.

Beta is the ninth named storm to hit the U.S. this year.

In its 10 am CDT public advisory, the National Hurricane Center said Beta now is a tropical depression that is expected to move in east-northeastward to northeastward motion with increasing forward speed is expected Wednesday through Friday. On the forecast track, the center of Beta will move inland over southeastern Texas through Wednesday and then over Louisiana and Mississippi Wednesday night through Friday, the NHC said.

The Associated Press reported that Beta would likely dump heavy rain on the southwestern corner of Louisiana in same area that got pounded by Hurricane Laura three weeks ago. More than 41,000 homes and businesses in the area remain without electricity, and Beta could add to that figure by toppling trees that were left leaning by the previous storm, meteorologist Donald Jones of the National Weather Service office in Lake Charles, Louisiana, told the AP.

The NHC said the middle and upper Texas coast could experience rainfall of 5 to 10 inches with isolated storm totals up to 20 inches before the storm moves out of the state. Significant flash and urban flooding is occurring and will continue today, the NHC said in its 10 am CDT advisory.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott had issued a disaster declaration for 29 Texas counties in advance of the storm. Counties included in the disaster declaration include Aransas, Bee, Bexar, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kleberg, Liberty, Live Oak, Matagorda, Nueces, Orange, Refugio, Sabine, San Augustine, San Patricio, Shelby, Travis, Victoria, and Wharton.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency in advance of TS Beta. Edwards said in a statement that the storm “puts southwest Louisiana at risk for flash flooding and river flooding,” and warned that “areas that are already recovering from Hurricane Laura and residents should take this threat seriously.”

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