Hurricane Humberto Slams Into Texas Coast
Author: Jeff Franks
The storm, which brewed up in the Gulf of Mexico on
Wednesday, made landfall near High Island, about 30 miles
northeast of Galveston, the US National Hurricane Center said
in a report at 2:10 a.m. CDT (0710 GMT).
Humberto had been expected to come ashore as a tropical
storm, but suddenly strengthened in the gulf's warm waters.
It struck a lightly populated area, and there were no
reports of damage or injuries. The storm was expected to plow
through southeastern Texas and head east into Louisiana, where
officials braced for flooding.
Humberto was a minimal, Category 1 storm on the
Saffir-Simpson scale, but forecasters said it could dump up to
15 inches (38 cm) of rain because it was dawdling along at just
8 mph (13 kph).
Galveston reported 5 inches (12 cm) of rain as Humberto
eased past on Wednesday, headed toward the Texas-Louisiana
A hurricane warning was in place from High Island to
Cameron, Louisiana, which was still recovering Hurricane Rita
in 2005. Rita struck the Texas-Louisiana border region three
weeks after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans.
Humberto was the third hurricane of the 2007 Atlantic
hurricane season, and was dwarfed by its ferocious Category 5
predecessors Dean and Felix.
They struck Mexico and Central America, respectively, with
Felix leaving at least 130 dead.
Texas and Louisiana officials positioned emergency teams
and rescue equipment in the path of Humberto.
Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco declared a state of
emergency while Texas Gov. Rick Perry vowed to "work with local
officials to provide the state resources necessary to ensure
the safety of all Texas residents."
The Texas-Louisiana border area is a major oil-producing
and gasoline-refining area, but industry officials predicted
little impact to operations.
The hurricane center said at 10 p.m. CDT (0300 GMT) another
storm, Tropical Depression 8, was located 1,005 miles (1,620
km) east of the Lesser Antilles islands of the eastern
Caribbean Sea and moving west-northwest at 12 mph (19 kph).
It had not yet strengthened as expected, but was likely to
become a tropical storm on Thursday, forecasters said.