IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Edouard downgraded as it moves inland

Tropical Weather
Ricky Tribble walks away from his flooded home in High Island, Texas, on Tuesday as Tropical Storm Edouard made its way through. Only a few homes in the area suffered water damage. Johnny Hanson / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

Edouard was downgraded Tuesday to a tropical depression as it moved inland across eastern Texas and western Louisiana.

Coastal tropical storm warnings were canceled after Edouard made landfall Tuesday morning east of Galveston.

The storm kicked up heavy surf and drenched tourists visiting during the height of the summer season, but there were no reports of major damage or flooding.

The storm's remnants could produce 3 to 5 inches of rain across eastern Texas and Louisiana, with up to 10 inches possible in isolated spots, as well as tornadoes.

The storm hit at the height of tourist season in Galveston, but tourism officials said many vacationers had planned to stay in hopes that the area would not be hit as hard as South Padre Island was by Hurricane Dolly on July 23.

Galveston, scene of a 1900 hurricane that killed about 8,000 people, did not order any evacuations ahead of Edouard.

States had prepared
Still, officials in Texas and Louisiana had prepared in advance in case Edouard grew into a hurricane.

Both states mobilized emergency teams, including 1,200 Texas National Guard troops. Texas Gov. Rick Perry issued a disaster declaration for 17 Texas counties and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal declared a statewide emergency.

Edouard skirted the Louisiana coast, making for a blustery day in New Orleans but otherwise causing no problems in the hurricane-weary city. The storm raised tides along the coast, pushing water into bayous and some low-lying yards in the Terrebonne Parish communities of Dulac and Chauvin. Terrebonne emergency preparedness director Jerry Richard said only minor damage was reported and no homes were flooded.

In Cameron Parish, bordering Texas, emergency management officials reported some power lines down and minor damage as squall lines passed through. Residents of low-lying areas south of the Intracoastal Waterway in Cameron were ordered to evacuate Monday. It was unclear how soon they would be allowed to return.

Hurricane Audrey killed about 500 people when it struck Cameron in 1957. Since then, parish officials are quick to order evacuations when tropical weather threatens.

Dolly damage still being repaired
Edouard did not bring the 100-mph winds that punished the Texas tourist hotspot of South Padre Island when Hurricane Dolly tore off roofs and knocked down signs last month.

Since Dolly, South Padre has regained electric power but its four biggest full-service hotels remain closed as well as the convention center in the community about 260 miles down the coast from Galveston.

The Texas coast counts on tourism this time of year. About 50 million visitors to the Texas coast spent about $15 billion in 2006.

Edouard did force oil and gas companies in the Gulf to evacuate workers from 23 production platforms and six rigs, according to the U.S. Minerals Management Service. The service said there are 717 manned platforms and 125 operating rigs in the Gulf.

Marathon Oil Corp. temporarily shut down a refinery that processes about 76,000 barrels of crude per day in Texas City, about 10 miles north of Galveston.

The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port temporarily suspended the offloading of tankers in the Gulf but said customers weren't affected because of pipeline deliveries.

The six-month hurricane season, which began on June 1, has already seen two of this year’s storms strengthen into hurricanes. Last month was the third most active July for storms since records began in 1851.