Tropical Storm Edouard (2008)
|Tropical storm (SSHS)|
|Edouard in Gulf of Mexico|
|Formed||August 3, 2008|
|Dissipated||August 6, 2008|
|Highest winds||1-minute sustained:
65 mph (100 km/h)
|Lowest pressure||996 mbar (hPa); 29.41 inHg|
|Damage||$550,000 (2008 USD)|
|Areas affected||Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma|
|Part of the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season|
Tropical Storm Edouard was the first tropical cyclone to strike southeast Texas in the month of August since Tropical Storm Grace in 2003. The fifth tropical cyclone and fifth named storm of the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season, Edouard developed from a trough in the northern Gulf of Mexico on August 3, 2008. After initially forming as a tropical depression, it gradually strengthened and by the following day, it became Tropical Storm Edouard. However, northerly wind shear halted any further significant intensification and also caused the storm to struggle to maintain deep convection over the center. Nonetheless, Edouard eventually began to resume strengthening and peaked as a strong tropical storm on August 5. Shortly thereafter, the storm made landfall near Gilchrist, Texas at the same intensity. Once inland, Edouard quickly weakened and was only a tropical depression by twelve hours later. Early on August 6, Edouard degenerated into a remnants low over central Texas.
Due to the relatively weak nature of the storm, impact was generally minor. Rip currents in Alabama and Florida led to five fatalities. The sixth death from the storm was also related to rough seas and occurred near the mouth of the Mississippi River in Louisiana. Storm surge and high tides also caused coastal flooding in Louisiana, especially in Cameron Parish. Light rains and relatively strong winds left more than 2,000 without electricity and damaged trees and the roofs of mobile homes.
On August 2, 2008, a trough entered the northern Gulf of Mexico, with a low pressure area developing near Apalachicola, Florida. The system maintained scattered deep convection across offshore waters and environmental conditions favored development. The system tracked generally west-southwestward, due to its position south of a subtropical ridge extending from Texas through Florida. In the afternoon of August 3, a Hurricane Hunters flight into the system confirmed the development of a reasonable well-defined center of circulation, slightly exposed from a disorganized area of thunderstorms; based on its organization, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) initiated advisories on Tropical Depression Five about 85 miles (137 km) south of the mouth of the Mississippi River.
Initially, the depression was located in an area of northerly wind shear and dry air, and as a result it was forecast to slowly intensify. However, Hurricane Hunter data indicated flight level winds of 65 miles per hour (105 km/h), and the NHC upgraded it to Tropical Storm Edouard late on August 3. By early on August 4, convection briefly decreased around the center, before a pre-dawn convective flare up enveloped its east side, nearly surrounding the center by afternoon as westerly vertical wind shear decreased. Later that night, organization continued, and Edouard strengthened to a strong tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 65 miles per hour (105 km/h). On the morning of August 5, Edouard made landfall in southern Gilchrist, Texas and weakened as it moved farther to the west-northwest. The storm was downgraded to a tropical depression late on August 5, turning more to the northwest into central Texas as it continued to weaken. Late on August 6, the depression dissipated over central Texas.
In preparations for the storm, emergency teams along the Louisiana and Texas coasts were activated. Texas Governor Rick Perry issued a disaster declaration for 17 Texas counties that could be in the path of Tropical Storm Edouard. Perry activated up to 1,200 National Guard troops, a 70 member rescue team, six helicopters and an incident management team that brings food and water to affected areas. Under the order, about 200 buses are available in San Antonio and Houston to help in evacuations. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal declared a statewide emergency. In Cameron Parish, Louisiana the Office of Emergency Preparedness ordered a mandatory evacuation, where Sheriff's deputies also erected roadblocks. In the Gulf of Mexico, Shell Oil evacuated about 40 workers from drilling operations. BP and Chevron also evacuated workers from platforms in the western and central Gulf, though did not predict substantial effects on production.
Florida, Alabama, and Louisiana
Rip currents in Florida and Alabama led to the deaths of five people, three of which occurred in Panama City, Florida. Along the coast, storm surge generally ran 4 to 5 feet (1.2 to 1.5 m) above normal, although a slightly higher tide was reported near Intracoastal City. Due to the storm surge, part of Louisiana Highway 82 was closed between Holly Beach and Johnson Bayou. Additionally, Interstate 10 was also flooded by storm surge. Minor flooding from the surge traveled up the Calcasieu River to Lake Charles; water flooded a local yacht club. Low-lying areas of Intracoastal City were flooded, disrupting marine industries. A man fell overboard from a shrimp boat in rough seas from Edouard near the mouth of the Mississippi River.
Three locations reported tropical storm force winds, including 46 mph (74 km/h) on Timbalier Island, 54 mph (87 km/h) in Calcasieu Pass, and 48 mph (77 km/h) on Marsh Island. In the Cameron, Vermilion, and Calcasieu Parishes, wind gusts were mainly between 40 and 60 mph (64 and 97 km/h), though a gust of 62 mph (100 km/h) at Calcasieu Pass.  Winds severely damaged several mobile homes in Cameron, mostly from roofs being torn off. More than 2,000 people were left without electricity in Cameron Parish as winds downed trees and power lines. Additionally, at least 1,000 customers lost power in Calcasieu Parish for similar reasons. A few mobile homes in that parish sustained minor wind damage. In Vermilion Parish, a few trees and power lines were downed. Rainfall in Louisiana reached 3.81 inches (97 mm) at Hackberry; at other locations, precipitation was mainly between 1 and 3 inches (25 and 76 mm). Overall, Edouard caused about $350,000 (2008 USD) in damage within the state of Louisiana.
Rainfall from Edouard peaked at 6.48 inches (165 mm) at Baytown, Texas, near Houston. In central Texas, a burst of thunderstorm activity near the storm's center produced 6.11 inches (155 mm) of rain near Hamilton, Texas; as a result, part of Texas State Highway 36 was closed due to flooding. Elsewhere, 3 to 5 inches (76 to 130 mm) of precipitation was reported. The heavy rainfall was expected to help relieve persistent drought conditions in some locations. Winds gusted to over 50 mph (80 km/h), peaking at over 70 mph (110 km/h). Furthermore, a wind gust of 71 mph (114 km/h) was reported at Texas Point. Due to the high winds, widespread power outages were reported in Jefferson County. Throughout the county, the winds brought down trees and powerlines, and damaged hundreds of homes. At the storm's peak, at least 37,000 customers in Southeastern Texas were without power.
Storm surge ranged between 2 and 5 feet (0.60–1.5 m) along the coast. In addition, high surf battered the shore. Minor storm surge flooding along portions of the Bolivar Peninsula caused $95,000 (2008 USD) in damage. The coastal flooding forced the closure of and caused $5,000 (2008 USD) in damage to Interstate 10 in Chambers County. Near Baytown, water flooded a few garages. Additionally, at least 25 homes in Gilchrist flooded. 6 inches (150 mm) of water entered two mobile homes and fifteen single-family homes; as much as 18 inches (460 mm) of water as reported in ten other single-family houses. At the McFaddin and Texas Point National Wildlife Refuges, losses in the park totaled to $100,000 (2008 USD). Overall, effects from Tropical Storm Edouard in the state of Texas resulted in approximately $200,000 (2008 USD) in damage.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Tropical Storm Edouard (2008)|
- National Hurricane Center - Edouard 2008 Graphics Archive
- Tropical Cyclone Report for Tropical Storm Edouard