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Alberto downgraded to tropical depression after dumping inches of rain on South Texas border

McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — Tropical Storm Alberto came ashore around 8 a.m. CST on Thursday near Tampico, Mexico, after dumping several inches of rain on the South Texas border and Gulf Coast areas.

The storm was downgraded to a tropical depression after coming ashore with winds near 50 mph, according to KVEO meteorologist Jessica Kirk with the Valley Storm Team.

A flood watch remained in effect until 1 p.m. Thursday from South Padre Island and Brownsville to Zapata, Texas, which is over 150 miles west, according to the National Weather Service.

A tornado warning was issued for a wide swath of the South Texas border on Wednesday night after a day of bands of rain, some quite heavy at times, battered the border before the storm made landfall. But no injuries were reported.

Over 4.2 inches of rain fell in McAllen at the airport on Wednesday — breaking an all-time record, KVEO meteorologist Brianna Medina said.

The Cameron County cities of Brownsville and Harlingen on Wednesday recorded over 3 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service.

The remote ranchlands of Brooks County near Falfurrias received over 4.5 inches of rain Wednesday and deputies continued patrols for lost and struggling migrants who often walk for days through the desolate and dangerous region to avoid a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint in Falfurrias.

Over an inch more rain was expected to fall in the Rio Grande Valley on Thursday as the system makes its way toward West Texas. El Paso, on the westernmost tip of the state, was enjoying overcast skies and temperatures in the mid-80s on Thursday after several weeks of mostly triple-digit heat.

The Rio Grande Valley had been suffering from triple-digit heat and drought, and for many cities and farmers, the rain was welcome and caused no major damage.

The South Texas city of Laredo issued a local state of disaster on Wednesday and warned residents of the potential for flooding on Thursday as the wide storm system spread hundreds of miles and affected most of the South Texas border region.

Parts of Mexico could receive upwards of 20 inches of rain from this system.

South Texas officials hope it will help to replenish two water reservoirs in South Texas that provide water to over 1.2 million residents in the Rio Grande Valley, Laredo and Eagle Pass.

Both reservoirs had been at historic lows before this system formed and as of Thursday morning were already beginning to rise.

Falcon Reservoir was at 10.3% capacity on Thursday, which is up from 9.4% on Tuesday, and Amistad Reservoir was at 24% capacity, up from 19% on Tuesday, according to the Texas Water Development Board.

Laredo was in Stage 3 water conservation restrictions and the city council have been studying alternative water sources in the future to provide for the city’s 260,000 residents.

A sugar mill in Hidalgo County in the agriculture town of Santa Rosa shut down earlier this year because there wasn’t enough water for growers to produce the thirsty crops. It was the only sugar mill in Texas and it affected 500 area jobs.

Sandra Sanchez can be reached at

Source: Fox 8 News Channel

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