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Tropical Storm Alberto, first of the season, threatens Texas with severe flooding

The first tropical storm of the hurricane season hit Texas on Thursday, threatening the Gulf Coast with severe flooding and high winds.

Tropical Storm Alberto formed over the western Gulf of Mexico, the National Hurricane Center announced around 10 a.m. Wednesday local time.

The storm is expected to bring heavy rain, coastal flooding and gusty winds along the coasts of Texas and northeastern Mexico through Thursday, officials said.

Tropical storm warnings are in place along the Texas coast, from the San Luis Pass to the mouth of the Rio Grande, with high winds and up to 10 to 15 inches of rain expected in Corpus Christi. The State Government has implemented a large-scale emergency response in anticipation of widespread flooding.

The National Weather Center office in Houston said as of 4:30 a.m. local time that coastal flooding had already been reported as the rain moved inland.

“The disturbance is very significant, with precipitation, coastal flooding and winds likely to occur away from the center, along the coasts of Texas and northeastern Mexico,” the National Hurricane Center said in an update. day.

The hurricane center also said Wednesday morning that life-threatening mudslides were likely in the highest areas of northern Mexico, including around the cities of Monterrey and Ciudad Victoria.

On Tuesday evening, Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered the state Division of Emergency Management to move the Texas State Emergency Operations Center to Level 2, meaning it has began operations 24 hours a day.

“As we prepare for severe tropical weather, Texas is activating all necessary personnel and resources to support Texans and communities that will potentially be impacted by excessive rain and flooding,” he said in a statement.

The Texas A&M Forest Service has mobilized four teams consisting of 100 personnel and 24 vehicles, while the Texas National Guard has three platoons of more than 40 personnel total, as well as 20 vehicles, including Chinook helicopters.

Weather services have asked residents in affected areas to have five to seven days’ worth of food, water and other essentials.

The storm warning came as 71 million people were under some form of heat advisory or warning Wednesday, with a severe heat wave expected to last through Friday.

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