Beta was churning slowly through the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday afternoon about 120 miles (225 kilometers) south-southeast of Galveston, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 60 mph (95 kph) and was moving west-northwest at 6 mph (10 kph).
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner on Sunday said while Beta was not expected to bring rain like Harvey, he cautioned residents to “be weather alert.”
“Be weather aware because things can change. This is 2020 and so we have to expect the unexpected,” said Turner, adding the city expected to activate its emergency center on Monday.
In Victoria County, about 120 miles southwest of Houston, officials asked residents to prepare for up to 10 to 15 inches (25 to 38 centimeters) of rain.
“As with any event, panic is never helpful or necessary, but preparation is, and now is the time to finalize those plans,” said County Judge Ben Zeller, the top elected official in Victoria County.
Beta is forecast to dump heavy rain on the southwestern corner of Louisiana three weeks after the same area got pounded by Hurricane Laura. More than 41,000 homes and businesses remain without electricity, and Beta could add to that figure by toppling trees that were left leaning by the previous storm, said meteorologist Donald Jones of the National Weather Service office in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Storm debris from Laura clogging draining ditches in hard-hit areas such as Lake Charles could increase the threat of flooding.