Tropical storm dumps rain along US, Mexican border

July 25th, 2008 - 12:45 am ICT by IANS  

DPA
Washington/Mexico City, July 24 (DPA) Forecasters warned of widespread flooding along the US-Mexican border Thursday as the weakened tropical storm Dolly continued to dump rain inland. Dolly, which struck as a category two hurricane near South Padre Island, Texas, Wednesday, has weakened to a tropical storm with sustained winds of 75 km per hour, the National Hurricane Centre in Miami said. It was expected to weaken further throughout the day.

The storm now located inland near Laredo, Texas, with a population 215,000, could produce 20 to 30 cm of rain in many inland areas near the Rio Grande river, with some places in south Texas and north-eastern Mexico receiving up to 50 cm. The hurricane centre also warned of possible tornadoes.

President George W. Bush Thursday declared a major disaster area for 15 Texas counties, freeing up federal disaster aid for residents and businesses.

Dolly’s 160-km-per-hour winds damaged roofs and windows when it came ashore, ripping up trees and tearing traffic signals from their poles. At least one person was injured in the US and figures from Mexico were not yet available.

In the Mexican state of Tamaulipas 36,000 people were evacuated and 2,800 people fled the storm on the US side of the border.

More than 120,000 people in Tamaulipas and 50,000 people in Texas were without electricity.
DPA

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