The National Hurricane Center reported at 11 a.m. EDT on July 21 that Tropical Storm Dolly had crossed Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and entered the Gulf of Mexico.
A hurricane watch was issued for the Texas coast from Brownsville northward to Port O’Connor. A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area — generally within 36 hours. A tropical storm watch was issued for the coastal areas north of Port O’Connor to San Luis Pass.
Tropical Storm Dolly is expected to strengthen as it enters the Gulf of Mexico and her projected landfall is Texas.
Dolly is moving toward the west-northwest near 18 mph. A gradual decrease in forward speed is forecast during the next couple of days, with little change in direction. The storm is expected to approach the coast of the western Gulf of Mexico by July 23, the Hurricane Center reported.
“It is still too early to tell what the intensity of the storm will become or its landfall, but everyone along the Texas coastline should be preparing for a hurricane,” said Mark Hanna, a spokesman for the Insurance Council of Texas (ICT).
When and if Dolly becomes a hurricane while in the gulf, Texas homeowners will no longer be able to purchase windstorm insurance for this storm. A flood insurance policy is effective 30 days after purchase.
Homeowners can take several steps to prepare for a hurricane. They include having emergency supplies on hand that includes extra water, food, medical supplies and transportation available, protecting their property and having an evacuation plan in place.
For more information on preparing for a hurricane, go to ICT’s Web site for Before the Hurricane – Advice for Homeowners in both English and Spanish at www.insurancecouncil.org/consumertips.asp.
Tropical Storm Dolly could become the first hurricane to strike the U.S. this year. The storm’s projected landfall is July 24. Only one hurricane, Humberto, made landfall in the U.S. last year, striking near High Island with 85 mile per hour winds and causing $30 million in damage.
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