August 5, 2008

Sabine Pass Under Voluntary Evacuation

By Mary Meaux, The Port Arthur News, Texas

Aug. 5--After conferring with officials of the National Weather Service in Lake Charles and local emergency management officials, Port Arthur Mayor Deloris Prince called for the voluntary evacuation of the Sabine Pass community Monday in advance of Tropical Storm Edouard.

The evacuation notice is based on predictions of three to five feet above normal tides as Tropical Storm Edouard makes landfall. Landfall is estimated between 7 and 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 5 near Galveston.

The combination of higher than normal tides could cause Texas 87 to become impassable. Gusty winds and possibly three to five inches of rain are expected late Monday night and throughout the day Tuesday.

The gradually strengthening tropical storm located several hundred miles from the Texas coast is reminiscent of Hurricane Humberto which struck High Island Sept. 14, 2007 as a Category 1 storm. Humberto made a westward march across Port Arthur, the Mid-County area and Bridge City. The storm reached hurricane status about 2 a.m. shortly before making landfall hitting an area that was previously damaged by Hurricane Rita on Sept. 24, 2005.

As of Monday night, a tropical storm warning was in effect from the mouth of the Mississippi River westward to Port O'Conner and a hurricane watch was in effect from west of Intracoastal City, La. to Port O'Conner.

At 4 p.m. the center of Tropical Storm Edouard was located near latitude 28.3 north, longitude 91.4 west or about 135 miles south-southeast of Lafayette, La. and about 215 miles east-southeast of Galveston. Maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph with higher gusts.

A storm surge of 2 to 4 ft above normal tide levels can be expected in the warning area in areas of onshore winds.

Edouard is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 3 to 5 inches in some Louisiana coastal parishes. Accumulations of 4 to 6 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 10 inches are possible over southeastern Texas.

Isolated tornadoes are possible over portions of southern Louisiana and the upper Texas coast tonight.


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