Updated Jul 27, 2020 - Science

As Hanna's rains lash South Texas, Hurricane Douglas threatens Hawaii

Police wait for people to return to their cars before closing the beach parking lot in preparation for Hurricane Douglas, in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Sunday.
Police wait for people to return to their cars before closing the beach parking lot in preparation for Hurricane Douglas, in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Sunday. Photo: Ronen Zilberman/AFP via Getty Images

As South Texas continued to feel the effects of one hurricane, another one was threatening parts of Hawaii, according to forecasters.

Driving the news: Former Hurricane Hanna triggered flooding after dumping over 15 inches of rain over Texas — and the downpour's continuing overnight, the Washington Post notes. Meanwhile, a "dangerous Hurricane Douglas" was approaching the Hawaiian island of Kauai Monday morning, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

Why it matters: Hanna lashed communities hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic when it hit as a Category 1 storm on Saturday. Hawaii has reported some of the lowest number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., but it has seen an uptick in cases in recent days, including 64 new infections on Sunday.

  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), who issued a Disaster Declaration for 32 counties Saturday, said at a news briefing that any hurricane is an enormous challenge. "This challenge is complicated and made even more severe, seeing that it is sweeping through an area that is the most challenged area in the state for COVID-19," he added.

What's happening: Douglas was packing maximum sustained winds of near 85 mph on Sunday night and it's expected to bring heavy rainfall to parts of the main Hawaiian Islands through Monday, the NHC said.

  • "Total rain accumulations of 3 to 6 inches with locally higher amounts are possible ... This rain may result in flash flooding and land slides, as well as rapid water level rises on small streams," the statement added.
  • The Category 1 storm is expected to weaken within 48 hours.

In Texas, the eye of the storm made landfall on Saturday evening as a Category 1 hurricane on Texas' Padre Island, packing maximum winds of 90 mph — "just 6 mph shy of Category 2 status," the Texas Division of Emergency Management noted.

  • Hanna the first hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic season and the first to reach the Texas Gulf Coast since Harvey in 2017, moved into northeastern Mexico after being downgraded to a tropical storm Sunday.
  • It became a tropical depression but continued to dump heavy rains over Texas and Mexico, causing "life-threatening flash flooding" in both places Sunday, per the NHC.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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