HOUSTON Sep 13, 2007 (AP)
Hurricane Humberto made landfall in Southeast Texas early Thursday, bringing heavy rains and winds of up to 80 mph as it made its way to eastern Louisiana, the National Weather Service said.
The Category 1 storm came ashore about five miles east of High Island, near Sea Rim State Park, where wind gusts measured 62 mph, meteorologist Jim Sweeney said. The storm was expected to start weakening as it continued inland.
"It's a very compact storm," Sweeney said. The strongest winds are very close to the center of circulation. The hurricane force winds only go about 15 miles."
A hurricane warning was issued from east of High Island to Cameron, La. A tropical storm warning was in effect from east of Sargent to High Island, and from east of Cameron to Intracoastal City, La. The storm was initially expected to strike as a tropical storm until it energized into a Category One hurricane after midnight.
The storm's rain bands were spreading over the coast and between 5 and 10 inches of rain were expected, with some spots possibly getting as much as 15 inches. But authorities said evacuations were not necessary.
The area expected to be hit the hardest is in the far southeast corner of Texas from Galveston Island eastward. It includes the Beaumont and Port Arthur areas.
While heavy rains from Hurricane Humberto could be a nuisance to US oil refineries in Texas, Tropical Depression 10, east of the Lesser Antilles, is of more worry to Gulf of Mexico oil installations, says Peter Beutel of Cameron Hanover. "If this storm crosses the western Caribbean on a course towards the northern US Gulf, it could cause severe dislocations," he says. "At this stage, though, it is too early to consider it a major threat."
>Copyright (c) 2007 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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