Tropical Storm Brings Break From Heat Wave, Much-Needed Rain
HOUSTON (AP) _ A tropical storm whipped the Texas coast with 45 mph winds and much-needed rain Sunday after picking up some punch just offshore in the Gulf of Mexico.
The storm hit the coast as Tropical Storm Dean but was downgraded to a tropical depression later in the evening when its winds dropped below 39 mph. Dean was the fourth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season.
The storm spawned at least one tornado in Cameron Parish, La., in the southwestern part of the state, authorities said. There were no reports of injuries or damage.
Storm warnings were posted for a coastal area from Corpus Christi northward into Louisiana. The National Weather Service also posted flash flood warnings for some areas, including Houston.
At 11:15 p.m. CDT, the depression, with sustained winds of 35 mph, was centered about 30 miles southwest of Galveston. Up to 10 inches of rain fell in the area, flooding some homes, weather service meteorologist Josh Lichter said.
The sustained winds were expected to die down on Monday, but heavy rain and tornadoes were still possible.
``It’s on the moderate side. It’s not the kind that you’re battening down the hatches for and running for the hills,″ said Bill Read, a forecaster with the weather service. ``But I wouldn’t be doing any kind of water-sports activities.″
Heavy rain fell in Galveston, an island, and nearby Bolivar Peninsula but caused only minor street flooding, officials said. Tidal surges on the island were up to 5 feet above normal.
Galveston City Manager Doug Matthews said no residents were asked to evacuate.
The stormy weather brought a break from a heat wave that gave some areas of the state record highs above 100 last week. On Sunday, temperatures in the Houston-Galveston area stayed in the 80s.
It also brought a welcome change for residents of South Texas, which is in the midst of a drought.
``The areas of South Texas from the Austin and San Antonio area west and south are desperately in need of rain,″ Read said.