PADRE ISLAND, Texas—July 29, 2020—Hurricane Hanna made landfall Saturday as a Category 1 storm on the southern coast of Texas. Though the Atlantic has seen a record number of named storms before August 1, Hanna was the season’s first hurricane. Making landfall on Padre Island, south of Corpus Christi, the storm brought heavy rain, flooding, and sustained winds of 90 mph, according to CNN.
As Hurricane Hanna moved across southern Texas and into Mexico, it left thousands without power, spawned isolated tornados, and flooded roads, highways, and homes. Widespread rainfall of 4-6 inches drenched the area, but some locations received as much as a foot of rain. The town of Mission in the Rio Grande Valley reported widespread flooding and numerous water rescues.
Gov. Greg Abbot issued a disaster declaration for 32 counties, and some of these areas are dealing with the dual crises of recovering from a storm amidst a surge in COVID-19 cases. CNN reports the Rio Grande Valley has become the state’s primary hotspot with officials in Hidalgo County ordering residents to shelter at home last week as hospitals filled to capacity and virus-related deaths rose. As residents fleeing flooded or damaged homes come together in shelters or take shelter with friends or neighbors, the coronavirus will continue to spread throughout the community, complicating storm recovery efforts.