McAllen--12:10 p.m. July 23, 2008
News Channel 4 (KGBT-TV) is reporting almost a dozen downed power lines; they showed video of several poles cracked or fallen. The wind gusts are consistently near 79 MPH in some parts of Brownsville.
The eye of the hurricane is still hovering near S.P.I., but has not yet officially made landfall itself, which means, likely, that at this pace (7 MPH) it will take about 25 hours to cross the Rio Grande Valley--Cameron, Willacy, Hidalgo, and Starr Counties--and drop an increasingly scary amount of rain. It's as if she'll be taking bucketfulls of water from the tub of the Gulf and constantly soaking the Valley; fighting us from a distance; fighting her own debilitating death. But not before she inundates us.
There's a tornado watch until 7 p.m. for the Valley.
Channel 5 (KRGV-TV) is reporting debris at Port Isabel--rain gutters, etc. They also showed video of a downed light pole--the parking lot variety, not a power line--at Wal-Green's in downtown Harlingen; there, gusts are consistently at near 40 MPH (at the Harlingen Medical Center gauge).
The last hurricane to hit the area directly was Hurricane Allen in 1980. It made landfall at Port Mansfield and did a good job of blanketing the Valley in rain and flooding--but not nearly as devastating as Beulah in 1967.
God help us.