Evacuations in Texas as Hurricane Hanna intensifies before making landfall

First Atlantic hurricane of the season expected to bring life-threatening storm surges

Chris Riotta | New York @chrisriotta |

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A hurricane developing near Texas has prompted evacuations and emergency warnings from local officials as the storm was expected to bring flash flooding and life-threatening storm surges to a region badly hit by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Storm Hanna, the first hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic season, was forecast to make landfall on the Texas coast on Saturday, threatening one of the nation’s Covid-19 hot spots.

Hanna was about 75 miles (120 km) east-northeast of Port Mansfield, Texas, packing maximum sustained winds of 80 miles per hour, the US National Hurricane Centre said on Saturday morning.

“Additional strengthening is forecast before Hanna makes landfall later today,” the Miami-based forecaster said, adding that the hurricane will rapidly weaken after it moves inland.

Video footage on Twitter of Port Aransas in Nueces County, Texas showed grey skies and lashing waves that had already engulfed a beach ahead of the storm’s landfall.

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