Tropical Storm, Hurricane a Wake-up Call for Coastal Residents

August 16, 2007

Tropical Storms Erin and Dean should serve as a wake-up call to anyone living along the Texas coast that hurricanes may not be too far away.

“There is no better time than now to prepare evacuation plans and gather important documents and phone numbers,” said Mark Hanna, a spokesman for the Insurance Council of Texas (ICT).

Tropical Storm Erin hit the Texas coast near Corpus Christi early Thursday morning and lost tropical storm status shortly after making landfall. Winds died to 35 miles per hour, below the 39 miles per hour standard for tropical storms. The storm is still expected to be rainmaker with strong, gusty winds as it travels inland.

Dean became a hurricane as it approached the Caribbean islands of Dominica and St. Lucia. Its current direction holds the potential for the storm to make landfall along the Texas coast.

“It’s way too early to tell what Dean will do, but Texans should have about five days to prepare just in case the storm turns our way,” said Hanna. “That should be enough time for residents to secure their homes and plan evacuation routes if necessary.”

The last hurricane to strike Texas was Hurricane Rita on September 24, 2005. Rita caused an estimated $5.8 billion in insured losses in Texas and Louisiana.

Source: ICT

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