July 23, 2008

Dolly Hits Texas With 100 Mph Winds

Hurricane Dolly blasted ashore in southern Texas near Brownsville Wednesday afternoon packing 100-mph winds after raking South Padre Island.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said the hurricane washed over the island around 1:30 p.m., and later hit the mainland about 35 miles north-northeast of Brownsville. At 4 p.m. CDT, Dolly's eye was about 50 miles north of Brownsville, moving northwest at 8 mph.

After leaving the warm Gulf of Mexico waters, Dolly's winds decreased to 85 mph, back into Category 1 status, forecasters said. Further weakening was expected as the system moved inland, the report said.

Hurricane-force winds extended 35 miles from the eye, while tropical storm-force winds reached out up to 140 miles, the forecasters said.

Persons are advised not to venture outdoors during the relative calm of the eye because winds will soon increase quite rapidly, the report said.

The National Weather Service estimated as much as 12 inches of rain had fallen over portions of southern coastal Texas and forecasters warned of coastal storm surge flooding 6 to 8 feet above normal tide levels along with dangerous battering waves.