Tropical Storm Beta makes landfall on Texas coast

HOUSTON (AP) — Tropical Storm Beta made landfall on the upper Texas coast late Monday night.

The storm made landfall just north of Port O’Connor, Texas. Yesterday Beta was 56 kilometres north northwest of the city with maximum winds of 64km/h, the United States (US) National Hurricane Center said.

Beta moved toward the northwest near four kilometres and stalled inland over Texas. It began to move slowly toward the east-northeast later in the day and began weakening.

Beta moved inland over southeastern Texas and then over Louisiana and Mississippi.

National Weather Service meteorologist Amaryllis Cotto in Galveston, Texas, said 15-30 centimetres of rain has fallen in the area with isolated amounts of up to 45 centimetres. Dangerous flash flooding is expected, Cotto said.

A truck drives through a flooded street in Galveston, Texas. PHOTO: AFP

Beta was the ninth named storm that made landfall in the continental US this year. That tied a record set in 1916, according to Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach. This was the first time a Greek letter named storm made landfall in the continental US Forecasters ran out of traditional storm names, forcing the use of the Greek alphabet for only the second time since the 1950s.

The biggest unknown from Beta was how much rainfall it could produce in areas that have already seen their share of damaging weather during a busy hurricane season.

“This still is probably the most uncertain part of the forecast,” National Weather Service in the Houston-Galveston Office Meteorologist Dan Reilly, said about rainfall from Beta.

Earlier predictions of up to 51 centimetres in some areas were downgraded to up to 38 centimetres.

Texas coastal counties were most likely to see 10 to 15 centimetres with five to 10 centimetres farther inland, Reilly said. Rain had already fell in Houston and other areas down the Texas coast before Beta came ashore.