Officials, residents brace for Tropical Storm Dolly

| 7/22/2008

Texas residents are bracing for Tropical Storm Dolly, which is expected to become a hurricane late Tuesday, July 22, and reach landfall during the day on Wednesday in the Rio Grande Valley.

The National Weather Service issued a hurricane warning for the coast of Texas from Brownsville to Corpus Christi and a tropical storm warning from Corpus Christi to Port O’Connor, TX. Parts of coastal Mexico are under similar warnings.

Texas Department of Transportation officials are preparing for the storm by ordering maintenance staff to prepare equipment, material and supplies in anticipation of flooding and power outages, a spokesman said.

“We won’t really know how the roads will be affected until that happens,” TxDOT spokesman Mark Cross told Land Line on Tuesday morning.

“We anticipate a lot of rain coming, a lot of flooding and power outages and we want people to be prepared for those things.”

TxDOT’s roadside-alert signs are keeping drivers advised of the approaching storm, Cross said.

Click here to check road conditions or call TxDOT’s automated phone system at 800-452-9292.

Dolly is expected to drop from 4 to 8 inches of rain with isolated regions receiving up to 15 inches, Weather Service officials stated in an advisory posted midday on Tuesday. Coastal waters could rise up to 6 feet above normal tide levels.

Dolly’s sustained winds on Tuesday morning were measured at 70 mph. Weather Service officials expected them to strengthen. Sustained winds above 74 mph are classified as hurricane force.

Click here to view the latest posting from the National Weather Service.

Cross said the best advice is for people to stay tuned, keep their fuel tanks full and be aware of their evacuation routes in case an order is given.

Click here to view a list of storm preparation tips from TxDOT.

– By David Tanner, staff writer