Live: The Latest News, Information and Updates on Tropical Storm

3 years 4 months 1 week ago Saturday, July 25 2020 Jul 25, 2020 July 25, 2020 10:43 AM July 25, 2020 in News - Local

Live updates on Tropical Storm Hanna

4 p.m. Sunday  — Hanna is now a Tropical Depression, according to the National Weather Service.

3:53 p.m. Sunday — Mayor Trey Mendez on Sunday announced that he had signed a disaster declaration for Brownsville.

"The City of Brownsville in coordination with the Brownsville Public Utilities Board and our city’s emergency response departments have been working to address the safety concerns of our community," Mendez said in a statement. "The welfare of our residents is always our highest priority; we also ask the community to stay safe and please avoid traveling in flooded areas."

3:18 p.m. Sunday — All South Texas College campuses will be closed on Monday as a result of Tropical Storm Hanna.

On-campus instruction is canceled. Online classes will continue as normal.

Custodial and maintenance staff should report to campuses to assist with cleanup efforts. Department supervisors will contact other staff as needed.

3:18 p.m. Sunday — Tropical Storm Hanna is now about 10 miles north of Monterrey.

2:30 p.m. Sunday — Tim Smith is live with the latest on Tropical Storm Hanna:

1:16 p.m. Sunday — The Federal Emergency Management Agency will assist Texas with the state's response to Hurricane Hanna, Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Sunday.

"Specifically, FEMA is authorized to provide emergency protective measures (Category B), limited to direct Federal assistance and reimbursement for mass care including evacuation and shelter support at 75 percent federal funding," according to a news release from the governor's office.

1:02 p.m. Sunday — A tornado appears to have damaged buildings near the Brownsville airport overnight.

At least three buildings appear to have been damaged. The side of one building appears to have been ripped off and folded over.

12:56 p.m. Sunday — The shelter at Chacon Middle School in Mercedes is closing, according to the city of Mercedes.

Another shelter at the Mercedes dome, 1202 N. Vermont, will remain open.

"Facility will house both COVID-19 positive and non-COVID residents," according to a Facebook post by the city. "Social distancing will be practiced."

12:41 p.m. Sunday — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott urged all Rio Grande Valley residents to take flood warnings seriously.

In a statement, Abbott urged Valley residents to monitor weather forecasts and heed warnings from local leaders:

"Governor Greg Abbott today urged Texans to remain vigilant and closely monitor flash flood warnings in effect for South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley. Hurricane Hanna has already produced numerous reports of flash flooding and additional rainfall will continue to cause life-threatening flash flooding, as well as isolated minor to moderate river flooding. The State of Texas has the appropriate assets in place to respond to the ongoing impact of the storm as it continues into Mexico.

"'As the Lone Star State continues to receive a substantial amount of rainfall from Hurricane Hanna, flash flooding and river flooding are a significant threat,' said Governor Abbott. 'Any additional rainfall will exacerbate these threats, but the State of Texas is ready to respond and protect our fellow Texans. I urge Texans in the storm's path to closely monitor severe weather, road conditions, and the warnings of your local officials.'

"Current forecasts indicate the continuation of rainfall, flash flooding and a potential for extreme river flooding in parts of Texas. Texans should remain vigilant even after rainfall has ceased, as water from upstream will continue to impact downstream locations over the coming days."

12:39 p.m. Sunday — About 99% of all AEP Texas customers in Willacy County were without electricity on Sunday afternoon, according to the AEP Texas website.

Just 11 of the company's 5,603 customers in Willacy County had power.

11:55 a.m. Sunday — Roads across the Rio Grande Valley remain flooded Sunday morning in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Hanna.

Authorities are asking Valley residents to stay home. Anyone who must travel should drive cautiously and be prepared to find alternate routes. Do not drive into floodwater.

11:36 a.m. Sunday — The National Weather Service has canceled the tornado warning.

11:27 a.m. Sunday — Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez released a statement Sunday morning on Tropical Storm Hanna:

"The county received between 8 to 12 inches of rain and heavy winds.  Our drainage system is at capacity but flowing well.  From past experience, it will take 24 to 48 hours before we can drain all the water downstream.

"We had no fatalities, but many of our citizens live in areas where it is flooding.  Many vehicles are stranded, power lines and transformers are down and we are evacuating people.

"Please be assured that all emergency management teams throughout the county are out there to provide assistance wherever needed.

"We ask that you stay home while streets remain flooded. Do not drive through flooded streets and do not drive around barricades. Even one foot of water can hide dangers to drivers.

"Please join me in thanking all our first responders, healthcare providers, law enforcement and county and city employees for their efforts during these difficult times."

11:24 a.m. Sunday — A tornado warning is in effect for the McAllen area until noon Sunday.

11:11 a.m. Sunday — South Jackson Road in Pharr is flooded, stopping people from driving into Las Milpas.

11:04 a.m. Sunday — The Texas Department of Transportation just published a list of road conditions:

11:02 a.m. Sunday — If there's a silver lining to Tropical Storm Hanna, it may be cooler temperatures.

Temperatures may remain in the 70s and 80s until Thursday as a result of the storm.

10:55 a.m. Sunday — Alton is experiencing localized flooding, said police Chief Jonathan Flores.

High winds knocked down trees and stop signs in Alton. City workers are busy cleaning up.

Flores urged Alton residents to stay home until the storm passed.

"If you don't have to be out on the roadways, refrain from doing so," Flores said.

10:44 a.m. Sunday — The city of McAllen is warning residents about more than two dozen areas with flooding.

McAllen posted a list of flooded locations on Facebook.

10:41 a.m. Sunday — For the second straight day, the Rio Grande Valley is faced with a high risk of flash floods.

Authorities are advising all Valley residents to avoid traveling whenever possible. Do not drive onto flooded roads.

10:40 a.m. Sunday  — As a result of flooding and wind damage, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley will be closed Monday.

10:28 a.m. Sunday  — Reminder: A Tornado Watch remains in effect until 10 p.m. on Sunday.


10:15 a.m. Sunday — The First Warn 5 weather team is back with the latest on Tropical Storm Hanna:

8:54 a.m. Sunday — In the aftermath of Tropical Storm Hanna, the city of Mission is asking residents to stay home.

High winds and heavy rain damaged homes and businesses throughout the city.

8:25 a.m. Sunday — Tim Smith and the First Warn 5 weather team are live on Facebook, providing the latest on Tropical Storm Hanna:

8:20 a.m. Sunday — AEP Texas reported on Sunday that more than 194,000 customers are without power in South Texas.

The total includes customers in the Rio Grande Valley, Corpus Christi and Laredo.

"Additional resources are arriving to assist AEP Texas crews to restore power to the impacted areas," according to a news release from AEP Texas.

1:00 a.m. Sunday — Hurricane Hanna downgraded to tropical storm.

12:00 a.m. Sunday — Tim Smith is back with the latest on Hurricane Hanna. Watch live:

8:18 p.m. Saturday — A second shelter is opening in Weslaco.

At 8:30 p.m., a shelter will open at First Baptist Church, 600 S. Kansas Ave.

8:06 p.m. Saturday — More than 62,000 customers in the Rio Grande Valley were without electricity on Saturday night, as Hurricane Hanna battered the region with high winds and heavy rain.

AEP Texas reported 49,686 customers without power. The Magic Valley Electric Cooperative reported 12,490 customers without power.

6:52 p.m. Saturday — Tim Smith is back with the latest on Hurricane Hanna. Watch live:

6:50 p.m. Saturday — Hidalgo County announced that the Weslaco shelter has been moved to the Palm Aire Hotel, 415 S. International. Blvd.

6:17 p.m. Saturday — Weslaco High School is no longer an emergency shelter location, according to statements released by the city of Weslaco and the Weslaco Independent School District.

The high school suffered a power outage.

5:53 p.m. Saturday — Hurricane Hanna is knocking down trees in Raymondville.

Reporting live from Raymondville, Channel 5 News reporter John Paul Barajas witnessed heavy rain, fallen trees and high winds.

5:38 p.m. Saturday — Brownsville Metro has canceled bus service until Monday because of Hurricane Hanna.

Accoridng to the city: "Brownsville Metro has cancelled bus services for this weekend due to the forecasted conditions expected from Hurricane Hanna. Cancelled bus services start July 25, 2020 at 4:40 p.m. and will resume on Monday, July 27, 2020 at 6:00 a.m."

5:30 p.m. Saturday — About 2,160 people in Port Isabel are without electricity, according to the AEP Texas outage map.

The map also showed customers without power in Laguna Vista, Laguna Heights and on South Padre Island.

5:05 p.m. Saturday — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has issued a disaster declaration for all four counties in the Rio Grande Valley.

Abbott also asked President Donald Trump for an emergency declaration and help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

According to a news release from the governor's office:

"'As Hurricane Hanna approaches, the Lone Star State is taking swift action to support the communities in the path of the storm,' said Governor Abbott. 'We are closely monitoring the situation and working with local officials to help ensure they have the resources they need to keep Texans safe. I urge Texans in the region to take all necessary precautions and follow the guidance of local officials. I ask our fellow Texans to keep these communities in their prayers as they brace for this storm.'

"The Governor issued the disaster declaration for Aransas, Bee, Bexar, Brazoria, Brooks, Calhoun, Cameron, Dimmit, Duval, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Harris, Hidalgo, Jackson, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kleberg, La Salle, Live Oak, Matagorda, McMullen, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Starr, Victoria, Webb, Wharton, Willacy, and Zapata counties. The declaration provides the Governor the ability to waive statutes or administrative rules that may hinder the response or recovery, as well as the ability to ask for federal assistance in response to Hurricane Hanna."

5 p.m. Saturday — The eye of Hurricane Hanna made landfall at 5 p.m. Saturday about 15 miles north of Port Mansfield, according to the National Hurricane Center.

In an update released at 5 p.m. the National Hurricane Center stated: "The eye of Hurricane Hanna made landfall on Padre Island, Texas, at 500 PM CDT (2200 UTC) about 15 miles (20 km) north of Port Mansfield, Texas, with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph (150 km/h)."

4:56 p.m. Saturday — Edinburg Mayor Richard Molina has signed a disaster declaration.

The city announced the disaster declaration Saturday afternoon with a news release:

"In anticipation of wind damage and disastrous flooding by Tropical Storm, now Hurricane Hanna, as well proactively protecting residents infected with or exposed to COVID-19, Edinburg Mayor Richard Molina signed a proclamation on Thursday July 24, 2020 declaring a local state of disaster.   

"A declaration of a local state of disaster permits the ability to take measures to reduce the possibility of exposure to disease, prevent the spread of and control the risk of disease in order to promote the public health, safety and welfare of our residents. 

"The declaration reads in part, 'the Mayor of the City of Edinburg, Texas has determined that extraordinary  of Hidalgo has determined that extraordinary and immediate measures must be taken to respond quickly, prevent and alleviate the suffering of people exposed to and those infected with the virus, as well as those that could potentially be  infected or impacted  by Tropical Storm Hanna throughout the City of Edinburg, Texas.'

"The declaration is already in effect and will continue for a period of seven days unless continued by the Edinburg City Council."

4:53 p.m. Saturday — The city of Mission emergency operations hotline is now open.

Mission residents who have questions or need assistance should call: (956) 580-8614.

4:35 p.m. Saturday — At 4:35 p.m. on Saturday, the Magic Valley Electric Cooperative reported that nearly 3,500 customers across the Rio Grande Valley had lost power.

Of the cooperative's 2,527 customers in Willacy County, 1,798 were without power.

For the latest information, check: https://magicvalley.coop/map/outage/

4:04 p.m. Saturday — La Joya Mayor Isidro Casanova signed a disaster declaration on Saturday.

The city also opened a shelter at the La Joya Youth Center Gym, 604 Salomon Chapa Drive.

For details on the shelter, visit the city Facebook page.

4 p.m. SaturdayTwo shelters are open in Mercedes:

Chacon Middle School, 801 S. Mile 1 East

Dome Shelter, 1202 N. Vermont

Both shelters opened at 4 p.m. Saturday.

The city asked residents to bring face masks, medications and phone chargers. Pets are not allowed.

4:25 p.m. Saturday — The U.S. consulates in Matamoros, Monterrey and Nuevo Laredo issued a weather alert for Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, and Coahuila on Saturday.

"Mexico has issued a tropical storm warning for Hurricane Hanna for the States of Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, and Coahuila. Hanna is expected to make landfall this afternoon," according to the alert. "Heavy rains and strong winds are expected across the warning area, which could cause life-threatening flash floods."

U.S. citizens in Mexico should call +52-55-8526-2561 from Mexico or +1-844-528-6611 from the United States for emergency help.

3:51 p.m. Saturday — Hidalgo County announced that shelters have opened:

McAllen Respite Center - 111 S. 15th St., McAllen

The Salvation Army - 1600 N. 23rd St., McAllen  

"Due to COVID-19 pandemic, masks will be mandatory inside the shelters. Residents should also bring other PPE such as gloves and hand sanitizer to maintain proper hygiene," according to a news release from Hidalgo County. "While inside the shelter, social distancing must be maintained as much as possible."

3:27 p.m. Saturday — As Hurricane Hanna approached on Saturday afternoon, Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez signed a disaster declaration.

Along with the disaster declaration, Cortez wrote a letter to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

“I have determined that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that an effective response is beyond the capability of the local jurisdiction to control," Cortez wrote.

The proclamation takes effect immediately and will remain in effect for seven days.

3:10 p.m. Saturday — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott held a news conference about Hurricane Hanna on Saturday afternoon.

Abbott said Rio Grande Valley residents should brace for high winds and flash flooding.

Texas has requested federal funds to help the Valley respond to and recover from the hurricane, Abbott said.

The coronavirus pandemic remains a threat amid the hurricane.

Texas will send military teams to shelters, Abbott said, where they will test people for COVID-19. The teams will also work to sanitize shelters in the same way they sanitized nursing homes.

The Texas Department of Public Safety also has planes, helicopters and boats on standby for rescues, Abbott said.

3:04 p.m. Saturday — The city of Pharr has opened its Development and Research Center, 850 W. Dicker Road, as an "emergency safe haven for residents."

"Pets are not allowed and everyone must be screened for Covid and facial coverings are required. Anyone with county isolation order must bring with them for proper accommodation," according to an announcement posted on the city website. "If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, we highly encourage you to use our safe haven."

2:40 p.m. Saturday — Power lines are down in Port Mansfield, blocking roads.

2:30 p.m. Saturday — The eye of Hurricane Hanna is approaching Port Mansfield.

Authorities expect palm trees and power poles to start snapping as high winds hit the area, said Channel 5 News reporter Rudy Mireles.

2 p.m. Saturday — Tim Smith breaks down the latest on Hurricane Hanna.

Many parts of the Rio Grande Valley will receive 5 to 10 inches of rain. Some areas could receive up to 15 inches of rain.

"This is likely one of those floods that we are going to remember," Smith said.

1 p.m. Saturday — AEP Texas reported that about 12,100 customers in the Coastal Bend service area, which includes Corpus Christi, are without power because of high winds and severe weather.

To report a fallen power line or utility pole, call (866) 223-8508.

11:22 a.m. Saturday — The Port Mansfield Fire Department is asking people with emergencies to call (956) 248-6576.

Randy Pierce of the Port Mansfield Fire Department said the 911 system is experiencing delays and calling him directly is the best option.

10:45 a.m. Saturday — Check out the latest on Hurricane Hanna.

The worst of Hurricane Hanna may hit at about 11 p.m. Saturday. Expect heavy rain, high winds and flooding.

10:20 a.m. Saturday — County Judge Richard F. Cortez went live on Facebook to warn Hidalgo County residents about Hurricane Hanna.

"This only a Category 1 hurricane, but every hurricane is dangerous," Cortez said.

Cortez also reminded Hidalgo County residents to bring soap and hand sanitizer with them if they're forced to evacuate their homes.

People should continue to follow coronavirus safety guidelines, including social distancing and the wearing of face masks, whenever possible.

10:17 a.m. Saturday — Valley Metro will stop transit services on Saturday, July 25.

Metro Express bus routes will also be canceled on Sunday, July 26, according to a news release from the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council.

11:43 p.m. Friday All Port Mansfield residents should evacuate the area, according to the Willacy County Navigation District.

"If this storm proceeds as currently projected it is very likely that persons in Port Mansfield could become trapped in a community that will not have power for an extended period of time and where evacuation via vessel or vehicles will be impossible due to the only two means of egress being closed by flood waters," according to the navigation district, which issued a news release at 11:43 p.m. Friday. "Understand that all these events have happened within the past two years with storms on a much smaller scale" than Hurricane Hanna.

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