Tropical Storm Bill makes landfall in already soggy Texas

Carrying heavy rains and winds of 60 miles an hour, Tropical Storm Bill made landfall in Texas on Tuesday and was expected to bring more flooding to the already soggy state.

According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, the storm arrived Tuesday morning in the area of Matagorda County, about 90 miles southwest of Houston.


"The center of Tropical Storm Bill ... is inland over Matagorda Island and is moving toward the west near 9 mph," the center said in its latest bulletin at 1 p.m. local time. "The general motion is expected to continue this afternoon, followed by a turn toward the west-northwest or northwest by tonight."

The National Weather Service says average rainfall for portions of Texas will be three to six inches but there could be as much as 12 inches in some areas near Austin.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office warned that the storm could be dangerous and urged residents to be careful.

"Tropical Storm Bill brings the potential of heavy rainfall that could trigger flooding of roadways, bayous and rivers across Southeast Texas. Heavy rains are expected to reach Harris County in the early afternoon of Tuesday," officials said.

The latest rain is expected to make driving dicey in the late-afternoon commute. The Houston school district closed schools and offices as a precaution.

Galveston County officials directed a voluntary evacuation of the low-lying Bolivar Peninsula.

Projections were that the storm could drop as much as nine inches of rain in the next five days to already hard-hit parts of North Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Missouri could get as much as seven inches, forecasters said.

Storms over Memorial Day weekend brought widespread flooding to Oklahoma and Texas and killed more than 30 people. Over the span of just a few hours, 11 inches of rain fell in parts of the Houston area. More than 10 inches of rain fell over a 30-day period across most of central and eastern Texas.

On Monday night, the city of Houston activated its Emergency Operation Center, and Dallas was preparing to take similar actions Tuesday.

The state also opened its emergency center, Gov. Greg Abbott announced.

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