Humberto Still Sloshing Through Gulf Coast

A man rides his bike through a flooded street in the Uptown section of New Orleans, La., Thursday, Sept. 13, 2007. Tropical Storm Humberto dumped heavy rain on much of Louisiana, flooding streets as it lumbered across the state. (AP Photo/Bill Haber) AP Photo/Bill Haber

Flood watches are in effect in Mississippi and parts of Louisiana, as Humberto - now a tropical depression - continues its Gulf Coast tour. As a hurricane, it killed one person and left many in Texas and Louisiana with flooded streets and no power.

Humberto is now located about 10 miles northwest of Vicksburg, Miss., moving northeast at about 12 miles per hour, with maximum sustained winds of about 20 miles per hour.

The wind, however, is no longer the main problem. Humberto is expected to produce one to two inches rain on Friday - after already having given a strong drenching to many parts of the Gulf.

The National Weather Service reported 14.13 inches of rain fell in East Bay Bayou, Texas, and more than 6.5 inches of rain fell in Galveston and Beaumont City during the storm. More than 5 inches of rain fell in both Lake Arthur and Grand Chenier, La., and nearly 2.5 inches in New Orleans.

In the open ocean, another storm is gaining strength. Tropical Storm Ingrid, churning about 755 miles east of the Lesser Antilles, is the ninth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season. The storm was moving toward the west-northwest near 7 mph and is expected to continue at that pace for the next 24 hours.

As of 11 a.m. EDT, Ingrid's maximum sustained winds had increased to nearly 45 mph with higher gusts, and tropical storm force winds extending outward up to 50 miles from the center.

But "Tropical Storm Ingrid is of no concern and may actually weaken during the next day or two, as it wanders way out in the central Atlantic far from any land," says CBS News meteorologist George Cullen.

Along the Gulf Coast, thousands in Texas and Louisiana have fired up generators as utility crews work to repair the damage from Humberto's early Thursday attack.

Humberto, the first hurricane to hit the U.S. in two years, steadily lost its punch Thursday after sloshing ashore in Texas as a stronger storm than initially expected and then dragging across Louisiana.

At 11 a.m. EDT, Humberto was about 50 miles northeast of Jackson, Miss., and moving toward the east-northeast at about 12 mph. Its maximum sustained winds were 15 mph.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry declared three southeastern counties disaster areas. At one point, about 118,000 customers lost electricity in Texas and Louisiana.

"We're pushing in generators, water and ice to affected areas, particularly those who have lost power," said Robert Black, Perry's spokesman. "We're working with the private sector to get power restored as quickly as possible."

Humberto didn't exist until late Wednesday afternoon and wasn't even a tropical storm until almost midday, strengthening from a tropical depression with 35-mph winds to a hurricane with 85-mph winds in just 18 hours, said senior hurricane specialist James Franklin at the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Only three other storms have pulled off a similar feat, growing from depression to hurricane in 18 hours - Blanche in 1969, Harvey in 1981 and Alberto in 1982 - but all of them were out at sea at the time, not about to crash ashore like Humberto.

National Weather Service Image Of Humberto
Humberto made landfall early Thursday less than 50 miles from where Hurricane Rita did in 2005, and areas of southwest Louisiana not fully recovered from Rita braced for flooding.

Along refinery row in Port Arthur, Texas, three crude oil and liquid hydrocarbons plants were idled until power was restored. Some could be off-line for several days, even after power is restored, because they must undergo the full restart process.

Before it lost strength, Humberto hit the tiny Texas town of High Island, population 500, best known as a way station for exotic migratory birds each spring and fall at its bird sanctuary.

Connie Payton lost almost everything to Humberto, reports CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann. Just before landfall, the storm grew to become a hurricane, and its fury woke up Payton. She sat down and started praying.

"My recliner just seemed like it leaned back a little bit further, but that's because the house had gone off the blocks," Payton said.

Off its blocks, the entire house slid seven feet from the slab.

"I felt it move back real slow. It quit and then all of a sudden, bam! I heard the roof go 'chooooo.' That was it," Jack Payton said.

Other roofs were torn from stores and homes, power lines and telephone poles littered the street and the lights and scoreboard at the school's football stadium were in pieces.

"Football's pretty much what everyone does on Friday. There's not really other plans," player Bubba Richardson told Strassmann.

Still, "I feel blessed that we're all right," said Connie Payton.

Galveston County Emergency Management officials told residents late Thursday it could be four days before the electricity would be restored. Land telephone lines also weren't working in some areas.

One man died when the carport at his home collapsed on him, Bridge City Police Chief Steve Faircloth said. The town is between Port Arthur and Orange.

"There were a lot of people trying to help him before the police arrived but it's just tragic," said neighbor Cindy Kindley.
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