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Tropical Storm Edouard was a tropical storm that organized in the Gulf of Mexico. A shear line stalled in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico in early August as troughing aloft dug into the northeast Gulf of Mexico. This energy aloft help to organize a surface low along the shear line early on August 2, which slowly organized over the following day. It strengthened into Tropical Depression Five before gaining intensity and being named Tropical Storm Edouard on August 3, the fifth named storm of the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season. The tropical storm moved westward to the south of the central Gulf coast on August 4. It made landfall on August 5 on the upper Texas coast about 40 miles southwest of Port Arthur and moved west-northwest into the interior of Texas. Edouard weakened quickly over land and was downgraded to a tropical depression late on August 5. The depression turned to the northwest, dropping heavy rains on central Texas on August 6. Damage after Edouard was fairly minor, totaling to $250,000.
On August 2, 2008, a trough entered the northern Gulf of Mexico, with a low pressure areadeveloping 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 fromTexas 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 theGulf 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.
Rip currents in Florida and Alabama led to the deaths of five people, three of which occurred in Panama City, Florida. In Louisiana, rainfall reached 3.81 inches (97 mm) at Hackberry. In other portions of the state, 1 to 3 inches (25 to 76 mm) of precipitation fell. 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. The lowest barometric pressure associated with Edouard in the state was 1007.8 mb. The strongest winds were primarily confined to Cameron,Vermilion, and Calcasieu Parishes, where gusts exceeded 40 miles per hour (65 km/h). At Lake Charles, a gust to 62 miles per hour (100 km/h) was recorded. Due to the storm surge, part of Louisiana Highway 82 was closed between Holly Beach and Johnson Bayou. 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. Damage to trees and powerlines resulted in over 2,000 power outages, and the roofs of several mobile homes were damaged by the high winds. A man fell overboard from a shrimping boat in rough seas from Edouard near the mouth of the Mississippi River.Edouard's storm total rainfall
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 miles per hour (80 km/h), peaking at over 70 miles per hour (110 km/h). At Texas Point, Edouard generated a wind gust of 71 miles per hour (114 km/h). The lowest barometric pressure of 996.6 mb occurred at Sea Rim State Park. Storm surge ranged between 2 and 5 feet (0.60–1.5 m) along the coast. In addition, high surf battered the shore.
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. Minor storm surge flooding along portions of the Bolivar Peninsula caused $95,000 (2008 USD) in damage, and forced the closure of Interstate 10in Chambers County. Numerous structures were flooded with over 6 inches (150 mm) of water, reaching 18 inches (460 mm) in localized areas. Despite the effects, damage was primarily light.
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