HOUSTON – Hurricane Humberto formed off the Texas coast Wednesday, promising to bring more rain and possibly flooding to a state coming off one of the wettest summers in more than 60 years.
Forecasters warned residents along a 220-mile stretch of coastline extending into southwestern Louisiana to brace for the storm, which was expected to slosh ashore south of Houston overnight Wednesday.
The storm’s rain bands were spreading over the coast by Wednesday night. Between 5 and 10 inches of rain was expected, with some spots possibly getting as much as 15 inches. But authorities said evacuations were not necessary.
Texas has had one of the wettest summers on record, with Houston soaked under the most rain it’s had in a summer since 1942. With the ground already saturated, flooding was likely.
In Austin, Gov. Rick Perry activated 50 military vehicles with 200 soldiers, plus a half-dozen helicopters and two swift-water rescue teams. Other crews from the U.S. Coast Guard were on standby.
“Some areas of our state remain saturated by summer floods, and many communities in this storm’s projected path are at high risk of dangerous flash flooding,” Perry said.
Humberto is the eighth named storm this year and formed from a depression that developed Wednesday morning. A depression becomes a named tropical storm when its sustained winds reach 39 mph and a hurricane when winds reach 74 mph.
Another tropical depression also formed Wednesday far in the open Atlantic, about 1,065 miles east of the Lesser Antilles. It had maximum sustained winds near 35 mph and was moving west-northwest at about 12 mph.