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There was flooding in Texas Tuesday as Tropical Storm Bill made landfall on the southeastern part of the state, and dumping more than two inches of rain on a region that was hard hit by flooding last month, officials said.
Tropical Storm Bill is the first tropical storm to hit Texas in seven years. Nearly 2 1/2 inches of rain fell in Baytown, and there were reports in Houston to the west, according to the National Weather Service.
The tropical storm hit Matagorda Island, near Corpus Christie, just before noon and was located about 45 miles northeast of Victoria as of 10 p.m. local time, according to the National Hurricane Center. A tropical storm warning remained in place from Port Aransas to south of Galveston Tuesday.
Nearly 5 1/2 inches of rain fell in Bay City in Matagorda County, southwest of Houston, between midnight and 6 .m., a carport was damaged in Edna, Texas, and a car was blown off the road in Morales, according to NWS reports.
The storm had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph as it moved north at 12 mph, and is expected to drop up to 8 inches of rain in eastern Texas as it moves towards Oklahoma, the Hurricane Center said.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has mobilized personnel in the region to respond to the storm in Texas and Oklahoma, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.
The Houston area and a county southwest of Austin were hard hit by heavy rain and flooding in late May that was blamed in more than 20 deaths across the state. Water peaked 3 ½ feet over normal levels in Port Lavaca, Texas and there was street flooding reported in Galveston and Houston as the storm came ashore.
Tornado watches were in place for a large swath of southeastern Texas that included more than 60 counties, including Hays County, where at least nine people were killed after the Blanco River flooded during downpours over the Memorial Day weekend.
Flood watches were in place from southeastern Texas through eastern Oklahoma and to southern Illinois, the NWS said.