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Slow-moving Tropical Storm Beta threatens to be a rainfall event

Caroline Linton
·3 mins read

The National Hurricane Center said Sunday that Tropical Storm Beta is moving a little faster toward the central Texas coast. The slow-moving storm is expected to produce a long duration rainfall event from the middle Texas coast to central Louisiana, with storm surge warning in effect from Corpus Christi, Texas, to Rockefeller Wildfire Refuge in Louisiana, east of Lake Charles.

The storm is expected to approach the Texas coast on Monday. 

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said Sunday that the state is preparing to respond and assist communities with potential flooding and heavy rainfall, CBS Austin affiliate KEYE reported

"As Tropical Storm Beta approaches, I call on all Texans in the Gulf Coast region to heed the advice of local officials and take the necessary precautions to keep themselves and their loved ones out of harm's way," Abbott said Sunday. "The State of Texas is prepared to support communities in the path of the storm, where substantial amounts of rainfall and flash flooding are a significant threat. We will continue to closely monitor the storm and work collaboratively with officials to ensure our fellow Texans are safe. "

159p - #Beta looking a bit more organized over the last couple hours. Main threats for SE LA and S MS continue to be minor to moderate coastal flooding, heavy rain and possible flash flooding, and gusty winds.#lawx #mswx pic.twitter.com/4hdjoxF3jK

— NWS New Orleans (@NWSNewOrleans) September 20, 2020

The biggest threat from Beta is the water, with the National Hurricane Center warning that flash, urban and river flooding is likely. Rain from outer bands of Beta has already started in parts of the central Texas coast, including Houston and Galveston. The storm could bring 10-12 inches of rain to areas along the Texas coast, including Galveston. Some areas could get as much as 20 inches of rain.

Storm surge of up to five feet could hit from San Luis Pass, Texas, to Sabine Pass, Texas, which includes Galveston Bay. 

Tropical storm conditions are occurring along the southwestern Louisiana coast and will spread westward to the warning areas in Texas Sunday through early Monday, the National Hurricane Center said. 

As of 8 p.m. ET Sunday, Beta had maximum sustained winds of 60 mph and was located about 195 miles south-southeast of Galveston, Texas. A tropical storm warning is in effect from Port Aransas, Texas, to Morgan City, Louisiana.

This has been an unusually active hurricane season, with Beta being the 23rd named storm of the season. On Friday, Subtropical Storm Alpha came to life off the coast of Portugal just after the season's 21st storm, Tropical Storm Wilfred, formed earlier in the day — using the last of the traditional names. Then Beta formed in the Gulf a few hours later. This is only the second time in Atlantic history that three named systems have formed in one day.

Sarah Lynch Baldwin and Jeff Berardelli contributed to this report. 

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