It was described as the strongest hurricane on record, packing winds of 200 miles per hour. But Hurricane Patricia quickly lost strength as it made landfall over Mexico on Saturday. No casualties were reported after Patricia hit the Pacific coast, but authorities attribute that to the sparsely populated area that took the brunt of the storm. The mountainous terrain is also credited with quickly weakening the hurricane.
Warm water and other factors turned this tropical storm into a record-setting hurricane within 30 hours according to meteorologists. Experts can’t officially blame global warming, but it is being discussed as a factor. Meteorologists add this is the ninth Category 5 storm of the year. There are usually no more than five or six in an average year.
Despite its rapid decline, Patricia has caused some flooding in Texas as remnants of the storm continue to move to the northeast. As much as a foot of rain fell on parts of Texas over the weekend. However, authorities say it was not near the devastation that was caused in spring flooding.
InterAction, a convener in disaster response, issued a statement this morning on the storm. “It appears Hurricane Patricia is not causing the extent of large-scale need for immediate life-saving assistance that we feared would be in order. InterAction will continue to monitor the situation in discussion with members and entities.” The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) also reports that conditions are improving over eastern Texas.
The weekend storm was the largest to hit Texas since May when torrential rain killed dozens of people and damaged thousands of homes and businesses.
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) is continuing to respond to earlier flooding in Texas and is monitoring the situation from Patricia. PDA has reached out to mid councils along the Gulf Coast where rain from Patricia is expected through the next few days.
“There are a number of variables to consider when determining whether PDA can and will respond in disaster situations,” said Rick Turner, associate for Disaster Response. “Top of that list is the level of human suffering. The effect from flooding sometimes is not evident until things have dried out.”
Gifts to help with needs related to flooding in the United States can be designated to DR000191 – U.S. Flooding. For more information, to go http://pda.pcusa.org/situation/us-flooding-2015/.