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Tropical Storm Don aims at TX

Storm surge, heavy rains, among predictions as storm hits coast Friday night

MIAMI (UPI) | July 29, 2011

Tropical Storm Don gained strength in the Gulf of Mexico late Thursday as it headed toward the coast of Texas, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

At 11 p.m. EDT, the storm was about 360 miles southeast of Corpus Christi and about 520 miles east-southeast of Brownsville, with top sustained winds of 50 mph, and was traveling west-northwest at 14 mph. Tropical storm force winds extended outward about 100 miles, forecasters said.

A tropical storm watch that had been posted for the Texas coast south of Port Mansfield to the mouth of the Rio Grande was changed to a tropical storm warning. A tropical storm warning remained in effect from the mouth of the Rio Grande to San Luis Pass.

Don was expected to continue on the same general motion and strengthen slightly before reaching to Texas coast late Friday or early Saturday, forecasters said. A gradual weakening is expected after the storm reaches the coast.

Tropical storm conditions are expected in the warning area by late Friday.

A storm surge will elevate water levels by as much as 1 to 2 two feet above ground level, primarily along the immediate coast near and northeast of where the storm reaches land, forecasters said. Don is expected to produce large and damaging waves, as well as total rain accumulations of 3 to 5 inches along the central Texas coast, with possible maximum amounts of 7 inches of rainfall.

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