Hurricane Dolly update: 10:53 a.m. July 23, 2008
MCALLEN--Right now Hurricane Dolly is still gaining strength; now a Category 2. The outer-to-middle bands are over us, but the eye is still percolating in the Gulf, still outside South Padre Island. Wind gusts in Raymondville have been reported to up to 119 MPH, so the region is already feeling it, but still calm in McAllen. Less calm as the day progresses.
KRGV-TV 5 is reporting that a shelter in Harlingen, Harlingen South High School, as far as I know--has lost power. With winds so high, it's not unlikely. Channel 5 is broadcasting now in Spanish and English--usually only English; and also has a translator for the deaf. Right now it's my cousin, Chris Ordaz, an experienced translator for the deaf.
Tops of trees in McAllen are swaying gently still. Neighbors are walking their dogs, etc. Not much rain just now, but overcast. Still pretty bright, though. We're caught between two squalls--one to the east, one to the west. So people in cities around us are feeling the hurricane already.
The eye is still off the coast, technically not yet over South Padre Island. Moving about 7 MPH, and gaining strength with winds at 100 MPH (<95 is Cat. 1).
KNVO-48 is reporting that Matamoros and Brownsville city officials are coordinating their emergency efforst to some degree-cross border interaction despite the Rio Grande that divides the two cities/countries. There at at least 300 Mexican soldiers deployed to help with storm issues in Matamoros, the city just south of Brownsville. Gov. Perry called up some of the National Guard before the storm even hit; usually they wait until it's over before calling them up.