Tropical Storm Bill Makes Landfall on Texas Coast

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By F. Brinley Bruton and Elisha Fieldstadt

Tropical Storm Bill made landfall in waterlogged Texas late Tuesday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The storm, packing heavy rains and punishing winds, hit Matagorda Island, near Corpus Christie on the Texas coast at 11:55 a.m. (12:55 p.m. ET), according to the National Hurricane Service.

Coastal flooding was already reported Tuesday morning, prompting officials in Galveston County, to order a voluntary evacuation for the Bolivar Peninsula about 50 miles south of Houston.

Between 4 to 8 inches of rain was expected to fall in central and eastern Texas by Wednesday, and parts of the state could get up to a foot of rainfall, according to

Weather Channel meteorologist Kevin Roth warned that "the biggest calling card for Bill should be heavy rains and flooding," but said "anybody who lives in a low lying area should make plans not to be in that low lying areas" after the storm hits.

Texas is still recovering from record rains and flooding that killed dozens in May.

Gov. Greg Abbott, who activated a storm operations center on Monday night, said on the Weather Channel on Tuesday that helicopters were already deployed to flood-prone regions because “the last storm that came through the state of Texas showed that the rapidly rising water trapped a lot of people.”

Related: Texas Braces for Tropical Storm Bill's Heavy Rain, Floods

Texas' eastern half was under flash flood watches, and the southeastern quarter of the state was under a tropical storm warning through Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.

The University of Houston was closed Tuesday, and school districts in Galveston and the suburbs of southern Houston canceled classes.