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Parched Texas welcomes tropical storm

Workers in San Benito, Texas, distributed sandbags, but many Texans were looking forward to much-needed rain. Workers in San Benito, Texas, distributed sandbags, but many Texans were looking forward to much-needed rain. (Jesse Mendoza/Valley Morning Star via Associated Press)
Associated Press / July 30, 2011

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SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas - As Tropical Storm Don crawled through the Gulf of Mexico, South Texas braced for long-awaited rain and what some saw as a practice run for storms to come.

Almost all of Texas is in extreme drought, and Don’s few inches of rain will not cure that, but at this point any moisture is appreciated.

The storm shut down 56 offshore petroleum platforms as it made its way across the central Gulf of Mexico toward a sparsely populated stretch of coastline between Corpus Christi and Brownsville. It was expected to reach land late yesterday or early today, and a tropical storm warning was in effect from the mouth of the Rio Grande north to Matagorda.

The only people hoping Don would miss them were cotton farmers in the midst of harvesting their crop, with two weeks to go, said Rogelio Mercado, Texas AgriLife extension agent for Jim Wells County. He said strong winds could make a mess of the harvest.

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