Tropical storm Alberto dumps rain on Texas, Mexico; 3 killed

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A car sits submerged in water as Tropical Storm Alberto approaches land on June 19 in Surfside Beach, Texas. (AP)

TAMPICO, Mexico, June 20, (AP): Tropical Storm Alberto rumbled toward northeast Mexico early Thursday as the first named storm of the season, carrying heavy rains that left three people dead but also brought hope to a region suffering under a prolonged, severe drought.
Mexican authorities downplayed the risk posed by Alberto and instead pinned their hopes on its ability to ease the parched region’s water needs.
“The (wind) speeds are not such as to consider it a risk,” said Tamaulipas state Secretary of Hydrological Resources Raúl Quiroga Álvarez during a news conference late Wednesday. Instead, he suggested people greet Alberto happily. “This is what we’ve been for for eight years in all of Tamaulipas.”
Much of Mexico has been suffering under severe drought, with northern Mexico especially hard hit. Quiroga noted that the state’s reservoirs were low and Mexico owed the United States a massive water debt in their shared use of the Rio Grande.
“This is a win-win event for Tamaulipas,” he said.
But in nearby Nuevo Leon state, civil protection authorities reported three deaths linked to Alberto’s rains. They said one man died in the La Silla river in the city of Monterrey, the state capital, and that two minors died from electric shocks in the municipality of Allende. Local media reported that the minors were riding a bicycle in the rain.
Alberto was bringing rains and flooding to the coast of Texas as well.
The US National Weather Service said the main hazard for southern coastal Texas is flooding from excess rain. On Wednesday the NWS said there is “a high probability” of flash flooding in southern coastal Texas. Tornadoes or waterspouts are possible.
Areas along the Texas coast were seeing some road flooding and dangerous rip currents Wednesday, and waterspouts were spotted offshore.

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