Texas Declares Disaster as Tropical Storm Alberto Targets Gulf Coast

HOUSTON, US – The US state of Texas issued a disaster declaration late Wednesday as Tropical Storm Alberto, the first named storm of the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season, threatened the Gulf of Mexico.

Forming off the northern Mexico Gulf Coast, just southeast of Brownsville, Texas, Alberto is expected to bring significant damage with winds between 40 to 50 miles (64 to 80 kilometers) per hour battering the coastline.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared a disaster for 51 counties in the southeastern part of the state, extending from Brownsville to Houston, nearly 350 miles (563 kilometers) away.

“Tropical Storm Alberto poses a threat of imminent disaster, including widespread and severe property damage, injury, and loss of life due to widespread flooding, life-threatening storm surge, damaging wind, and heavy rainfall,” Abbott stated in his declaration.

Although Alberto is expected to make landfall in Mexico near the Rio Grande River on Thursday morning, its outer bands began affecting Texas on Wednesday night. Storm surges exceeding 4 feet (1.2 meters) off the Galveston coast and street flooding already began closing roadways.

“This rainfall will likely produce considerable flash and urban flooding along with new and renewed river flooding,” the National Weather Service warned, predicting several days of severe weather and a “high probability” of flash flooding.

The Hurricane Prediction Center forecasts up to 20 inches (50 centimeters) of rain in Mexico’s mountainous regions, while major Texas cities could experience 5 to 10 inches (12.7 to 25.4 centimeters) of rain, causing dangerous flooding.

Coastal flooding is also anticipated along the Louisiana coastline, including New Orleans, with the potential for tornadoes in Gulf Coast communities.

The Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, is predicted to be “hyperactive” this year by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), with 17 to 25 named storms, including up to 13 hurricanes, four of which could be major.

These predictions exceed the average Atlantic hurricane season, which typically sees 14 named storms, seven hurricanes, and three major hurricanes.–News Desk