Wednesday, September 12, 2007
TS Humberto: Battening the hatches
Tropical Depression Nine popped up unexpectedly this morning just off the Texas coast, and within hours brewed itself into strong Tropical Storm Humberto. Humberto is expected to make landfall somewhere between Galveston and Port Arthur in the wee hours Thursday morning. (The tiny red box in the photo above denotes the approximate location of my desk in Beaumont.)
Just 12 days short of the second anniversary of Hurricane Rita, there's more trepidation in Southeast Texas air, but a tropical storm only a couple hundred miles off the coast is unlikely to roil into a full-fledged Category 3 hurricane. While Rita raked across the landscape with 130-mph winds and falling trees caused much of the damage, Humberto is more likely to cause severe flooding, with 5 to 10 inches of rain expected (15 inches in some isolated areas.) Different storm, different threat.
Nobody's evacuating. Nobody's stocking up on food and water. Nobody's nailing plywood to their windows. But that doesn't mean there isn't some adrenaline flowing in Southeast Texans' veins right now. After all, we learned one thing from Her Terribleness Rita: Don't underestimate a storm.