THE US is set to be struck by two hurricanes at once as 65mph Hanna barrels towards Texas and Hawaii braces for 115mph Douglas.
Texas is bracing itself for the tropical storm surge[/caption]
Hurricane Douglas could produce flash flooding, strong winds and pounding surf in Hawaii[/caption]
The grim weather warning comes as both states contend with mounting coronavirus cases, a situation described as “a potential disaster inside of a current disaster.”
On Friday, a hurricane warning was issued for parts of the Texas coast, where several communities were urged to evacuate before Tropical Storm Hanna arrived.
Kleberg County, south of Corpus Christi, asked residents of Loyola Beach, Ricardo and Riviera, Texas, to voluntarily evacuate amid flood warnings.
Hanna could bring five to 10 inches of rain and coastal swells – which forecasters say could lead to life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
A potential disaster inside of a current disaster.
Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales
The US National Hurricane Center said Hanna was centered about 195 miles east of Corpus Christi in their 4pm advisory, with maximum sustained winds of around 50mph and moving west at 10mph.
The hurricane will make landfall tomorrow afternoon or early evening and a hurricane warning is in effect for Baffin Bay to Mesquite Bay and Corpus Christi, as well as Baffin Bay to Sargent.
Weather experts also issued a warning from the mouth of the Rio Grande River to Baffin Bay and from Mesquite Bay to San Luis Pass.
The record-breaking Storm Hanna was the earliest eighth Atlantic named storm, said Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach.
He tweeted that this title was previously held by Harvey on August 3, 2005. But there are also the lack of hurricane shelters to contend with.
“Remember… we’re in a potential disaster inside of a current disaster,” Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales said, according to KXAN.
Brittany Eck with the Texas General Land Office urged hard-hit Texans to ask friends or relatives if they could stay at their homes before resorting to a shelter.
She said masks, gloves and hand sanitizer should be added to the to-go bag this year to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in small spaces.
Hawaiians are prepping for a storm during a pandemic[/caption]
“If you think about it, Hurricane Harvey was the same letter as Hanna’s and Hurricane Harvey hit in August, late August the 24th,” Eck added.
“So we have already had a very active hurricane season. Now we haven’t had a major storm yet, but we do predict three to six major storms this year and any one of those could hit Texas.”
Elsewhere, at midday on Friday, Category 3 Hurricane Douglas was 785 miles southeast of Hilo, hurtling to maximum sustained winds of 115 mph in Hawaii.
Although it may weaken over cooler water, meteorologists predict strong winds, heavy rainfall and dangerous surf on Saturday night.
When it nears the eastern end of Hawaii, Douglas is expected to be either a Category 1 hurricane or a strong tropical storm – sparking land slides and flash floods.
A hurricane watch for the Big Island and Maui County was issued by The National Weather Service within the next 36 to 48 hours.
I never thought in 30 years of doing this I’d be answering medical questions,” said John Cummings, the public information office for Honolulu Emergency Management of the combined problem of coronavirus and a storm.
Shelter space is very limited in-state and people have been urged to shelter at home.
Much like the storm situation in Texas, Hawaiians have been urged to seek refuge with friends and family, only opting for a city-run shelter as a last resort.
Evacuees will have their temperatures checked at these facilities but even exposed people – who have been quarantining – can go to a shelter if they’re unsafe at home.
There, they’ll be isolated or taken elsewhere, according to Cummings.
But to incorporate social distancing guidelines, shelters have to now allow for 60 square feet per person or family, said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, who cited the need for more space and staff.
Hawaiian officials and the Federal Emergency Management Agency are considering sheltering these people from the storm in the hotel rooms lying empty as a result of coronavirus but nothing has been decided or confirmed.
Caldwell asked residents to do a 14-day grocery shop for poorer people who can’t afford it due to the mass unemployment.
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Gonzalo was hurtling towards the Caribbean on Friday.
It was moving at 18 mph with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph about 390 miles east of the southern Windward Islands, according to the National Hurricane Center.
MOST READ IN NEWS
People living on the Windward Islands have been warned to monitor the tropical storm, which is set to hit on Saturday and could bring 2 to 5 inches of rain.
Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Tobago and Grenada and its dependencies have all been issued with tropical storm warnings.
This affects St Lucia, Tobago and Grenada. Forecasters said Gonzalo.