'Catastrophic Flooding Expected' - Hanna Hammers Virus-Infected South Texas

Tropical storm conditions are expected for South Texas and northeastern Mexico on Sunday after Hurricane Hanna roared ashore on Saturday as a Category 1 storm. 

Hanna was the first hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season and came ashore on Saturday afternoon around Port Mansfield, Texas, with maximum sustained winds of 90mph. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) downgraded the hurricane to a tropical storm early Sunday.

Chris Birchfield, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Brownsville, told AP News the storm's real threat continues to be heavy rainfall. "We're still expecting catastrophic flooding," he said. 

Rainfall estimates are in the range of 6 to 12 inches through Sunday night, with isolated areas could receive upwards of 18 inches. Willacy County, Texas, which is near Brownsville and the border with Mexico, has already reported 12.6 inches. Brownsville is reporting 5.6 inches and Reynosa, a city in Mexico, has already seen 11 inches. 

Here's the latest update on Hanna via NWS: 

Here's the latest update on Hanna via the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

NWS's highest wind report shows Baffin Bay, Texas, recorded 81mph in the last 24-hours. 

Storm chasers were out on Saturday evening as the hurricane made landfall in south Texas.

Gov. Greg Abbott told residents Saturday: 

 "We cannot allow this hurricane to lead to a more catastrophically deadly event by stoking the additional spread of COVID-19 that could lead to fatalities." 

The hurricane comes at a time when the state is seeing a massive surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths. Many hospitals are beyond intensive-care unit capacity, with the risks the state could end up shutting down parts of its economy to mitigate further spreading.

As for the tropics this weekend, well, it's very busy!

We'll be updating readers on tropical developments next week.