From KDFM Channel 6 in Beaumont, Texas

HURRICANE HUMBERTO STRIKES SOUTHEAST TEXAS

Hurricane Humberto is now moving out of Southeast Texas after knocking out power to about 100,000 people.

The National Hurricane Center upgraded Humberto to a Category 1 hurricane shortly after midnight. KFDM News was on the air telling you about the change within minutes of the change in status from Tropical Storm Humberto to Hurricane Humberto.

The highest sustained winds at 12:35 a.m. Thursday were 80 miles an hour.

According to KFDM's Greg Bostwick, the center of the storm is expected to pass over the Mid-Jefferson County Area with winds between 50-60 miles per hour.

Stay with KFDM and KFDM.com for the latest information. Greg Bostwick and Bill Leger have been doing live cut-ins every hour on the hour since 11 p.m. We'll continue the cut-ins every thirty minutes throughout the night, and more often as necessary. You've heard from callers live on the air, reporting on high winds and other effects of the hurricane in High Island and the Winnie area. We're keeping our live Doppler radar picture in the corner of the tv screen throughout the night and morning.


By MICHAEL GRACZYK
Associated Press Writer
HOUSTON (AP) - Hurricane Humberto, which sprang up overnight,
crashed ashore early Thursday near the Louisiana line, bringing
sustained winds of up to 80 mph and heavy rain that raised flooding
fears, the National Weather Service said.
Humberto was the first named storm to make landfall on the U.S.
Gulf Coast since the twin onslaughts of Katrina and Rita in 2005.
The greatest concern for Texas residents was the heavy rain
falling in areas already inundated by a wet summer. Coastal areas
of southwest Louisiana not fully recovered from Rita also were
bracing for more misery.
"I'm in a FEMA trailer (because of Rita) and I'm on oxygen,"
said Albertha Garrett, 70, of Lake Charles, La., who spent the
night at a shelter in the Lake Charles Civic Center. "I had to
come to the civic center just in case the lights would go out,
because I'm alone and I'm handicapped."
The Category 1 storm made landfall about 5 miles east of High
Island, near the eastern tip of the Texas coast, then weakened and
bore into central Louisiana, forecasters said.
"It's a very compact storm," meteorologist Jim Sweeney said.
"The strongest winds are very close to the center of circulation.
The hurricane force winds only go about 15 miles."
Power was knocked out for most of Beaumont and Port Arthur,
Entergy Texas spokeswoman Debi Derrick said. She estimated about
100,000 customers were without power in the immediate wake of the
storm.
One location blacked out was Jefferson County's Emergency
Operations Center in Beaumont, where wind speeds of 75 to 80 mph
were noted, said Michael White, the county's assistant emergency
management coordinator. Officials were forced to track the storm
with laptops, he said.
A hurricane warning had been issued from east of High Island to
Cameron, La., while a tropical storm warning was posted to a
section of Louisiana coast east of there. The storm had been
expected to come ashore as a tropical storm until it energized into
a Category 1 hurricane after midnight.
At 8 a.m. EDT, the center of Humberto was about 25 miles
west-northwest of Lake Charles. It was moving toward the
north-northeast near 12 mph.
The storm's rain bands were spreading over the coast and between
5 and 10 inches of rain were expected, with some spots possibly
getting as much as 15 inches. But authorities said evacuations were
not necessary.
"There has been some very heavy rainfall in extreme
southeastern Texas. Today it's going to be across Louisiana,
Mississippi and southeast Arkansas," said Daniel Brown, hurricane
specialist at the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
Texas has had one of the wettest summers on record, with Houston
soaked under the most rain it's had in a summer since 1942. With
the ground already saturated, flooding was likely.
Gov. Rick Perry activated 50 military vehicles with 200
soldiers, plus a half-dozen helicopters and two swift-water rescue
teams. Other crews from the U.S. Coast Guard were on standby.
"Some areas of our state remain saturated by summer floods, and
many communities in this storm's projected path are at high risk of
dangerous flash flooding," Perry said.
In Louisiana, Gov. Kathleen Blanco declared a state of
emergency. Calcasieu and Vermilion parishes had shelters on
standby. Vermilion also was making sandbags and sand available,
said Mark Smith, a spokesman for the Governor's Office of Homeland
Security and Emergency Preparedness.
The warning area included Louisiana's Cameron Parish, which was
devastated by Hurricane Rita - with winds far stronger than
Humberto - in September 2005. More than 500 federally issued travel
trailers and mobile homes remain there.
Last month, at least six deaths were blamed on Tropical Storm
Erin, which dropped nearly a foot of rain in parts of San Antonio,
Houston and the Texas Hill Country.
In 2001, slow-moving Tropical Storm Allison soaked Houston,
dumping about 20 inches of rain in eight hours. About two dozen
people died, sections of the city were paralyzed and damage was
estimated at roughly $5 billion.
Humberto is the eighth named storm this year and formed from a
depression that developed Wednesday morning.
Another tropical depression formed Wednesday far in the open
Atlantic, about 930 miles east of the Lesser Antilles. It had
maximum sustained winds near 35 mph and was moving west-northwest
at about 16 mph.
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Associated Press writer Becky Bohrer in New Orleans contributed
to this report.
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On the Net:
National Hurricane Center: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)