Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Friday, July 29, 2011

Parched Texas welcomes tropical storm Don, wants more

Emergency managers along the Gulf Coast typically don't welcome severe weather, but with more than 90 percent of Texas in extreme or exceptional drought, there's barely concealed excitement for Tropical Storm Don's arrival.

The couple inches of rain Don was expected to bring won't be enough to break the state's crushing drought, but any rain is welcome and many Texans are hoping it's just the beginning.

"We're looking forward to the rain," Nueces County Emergency Management Coordinator Danielle Hale said. "We welcome that rain actually."

Don was expected to make landfall late Friday or early Saturday as a tropical storm, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. A tropical storm warning was in effect for the Texas coast from Matagorda Bay south to the mouth of the Rio Grande, but there were no plans to order evacuations along coastal areas, said Hale, whose county sits on the north side of Don's path.

Primitive beach camping would be restricted in county parks, but camping for recreational vehicles on the other side of the sand dunes should remain open, Hale said. County beaches would not be closed except where Mother Nature closed them, she said.

However, Padre Island National Seashore, south of Corpus Christi, closed its beaches and camping areas Thursday until the storm passes. The park's recorded weather report Thursday closed with: "at least we're going to get some rain. Hey, wonderful!" (more)