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Hurricane Hanna makes landfall in Texas, battering area hit hard by COVID

Texas, US: Hanna, the first hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic season, made landfall in Texas on Saturday, July 25, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. 

"Hurricane Hanna made landfall on Padre Island, Texas at 5 PM CDT (2200GMT) with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph", the NHC said. After it makes landfall in the coming hours, Hanna is forecast to move inland over south Texas tonight and into northeastern Mexico on Sunday, potentially spawning powerful tornadoes on the coastal plains. Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration for 32 counties in Texas that are in the storm's path.

Hanna is the first hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic season and one that will be like no other in recent memory, as the coroanvirus pandemic complicates everything from figuring out how to social distance in emergency shelters to finding bed space for anyone hurt in the storm in hospitals that are packed with COVID-19 patients.
The storm was located about 70 miles (115 km) south of Corpus Christi in Texas, packing maximum sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (145 kph) on Saturday afternoon, the NHC said. "The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline," the Miami-based forecaster said.

Hanna could bring flash flooding, with up to 15 inches (38 cm) of rain in pockets of southern Texas and northeastern Mexico. The storm is not expected to affect offshore oil and gas production. Energy companies have not evacuated workers or shut down production from their Gulf of Mexico platforms because of Hanna.
Hanna is projected to come ashore between Corpus Christi and Brownsville, a region that has struggled to contain outbreaks of COVID-19 in recent weeks. Cases along the state's coast have soared into the tens of thousands, and more than 400 people in Corpus Christi's city of 325,000 were hospitalized with the novel coronavirus on Friday, according to city data.

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