Tropical Storm Cristobal advances towards US Gulf Coast
A re-energised Tropical Storm Cristobal has advanced toward the US Gulf Coast, bringing with it the heavy rains that have already caused flooding and mudslides in Mexico and Central America.
After weakening to a tropical depression while moving over land in Mexico’s Gulf coast, Cristobal headed back into the southern Gulf of Mexico from the Yucatan Peninsula on Friday and powered back up into a tropical storm.
Forecasters said it would arrive on US soil late on Sunday, but is not expected to grow into a hurricane.
The National Hurricane Centre in Miami said the storm was expected to slowly strengthen until it makes landfall, expected Sunday night along the US Gulf Coast.
Tropical storm-force winds could arrive as early as Saturday evening.
Cristobal’s maximum sustained winds had strengthened to 50mph by early Saturday and it was moving north at 12mph. The storm was centred about 365 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River.
The Hurricane Centre said the storm could cause heavy rains from East Texas to Florida this weekend and into early next week.
A tropical storm watch was posted for the northern Gulf of Mexico coast from Intracoastal City, Louisiana, to the Alabama-Florida border.
In Louisiana, governor John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency to prepare for the storm’s possible arrival.
He said: “Now is the time to make your plans, which should include the traditional emergency items along with masks and hand sanitiser as we continue to battle the coronavirus pandemic.”
Cristobal formed this week in the Bay of Campeche from the remnants of Tropical Storm Amanda, which had sprung up last weekend in the eastern Pacific and hit Central America.
The two storms combined to soak the region with as much as 35in of rain in some areas over the past week. At least 30 deaths have been attributed to the two storms and the flooding and landslides they unleashed.
In Bacalar, in the south of Mexico’s Quintana Roo state, 230 families were isolated by the rains and had to be airlifted out, according to David Leon, Mexico’s national civil defence coordinator.
Mr Leon added there had been light damage in 75 municipalities in seven states.
Published: by Radio NewsHub