Hurricane Dolly slammed into extreme south Texas and northeastern Mexico around noon Wednesday, July 23, reaching Category 2 strength with winds of up to 110 mph.
The storm produced heavy rains as well as numerous tornado watches, according to the National Weather Service, with the possibility of tornado activity expected to continue through Thursday in southern Texas.
Brownsville, Harlingen and South Padre Island were directly in the hurricane’s path, and many residents and tourists had voluntarily evacuated. About 36,000 utility customers were left without electricity in the area but, initially at least, there were no reports of extensive property damage or loss of life.
Dolly was expected to drench the Rio Grande Valley with anywhere from 5 to 15 inches of rain. Flooding was one of the big fears – especially if any of the levees along the Rio Grande River failed. No significant road closures had been reported Wednesday afternoon as of press time.
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By Wednesday afternoon, the storm had already weakened to Category 1 status as it started to lose strength while heading west-northwest at 7 to 11 mph, the National Weather Service reported.