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The Latest: ‘Brown ocean’ effect still possible for Texas

6 p.m. CDT

The National Weather Service says that even though Tropical Storm Bill has weakened after hitting the Texas mainland, it still could regain strength before the severe weather passes.

Most tropical storms gather power from the warm waters of the ocean and then weaken over land. But scientists say wet conditions from last month’s heavy rainfall in Texas could sustain or strengthen a tropical storm over land in a phenomenon known as the “brown ocean” effect.

Meteorologist Victor Murphy of the National Weather Service in Fort Worth said Tuesday that the storm’s weakening doesn’t mean the “brown ocean” effect is no longer plausible. He said “it’s still on the table” that the dynamic could occur as the storm moves further inland over Texas and Oklahoma.


5:25 p.m. CDT

Rain-swollen rivers and streams have overflowed their banks in many places across northern Indiana. The floodwaters covered some low-lying roads and caused emergency crews to help some people who were stranded in their homes.

Several Wabash River tributaries were above flood stage Tuesday after heavy rain the day before in northern Indiana.

Chantel Henson of White County’s emergency management office says crews helped about 20 people from homes in the community of Buffalo along the Tippecanoe River about 40 miles north of Lafayette.

A few dozen people also were evacuated from a mobile home park in the community of Zanesville near Fort Wayne after it was flooded from a nearby creek. High water from the St. Marys River flooded some homes in the northeastern Indiana city of Decatur.


4:55 p.m. CDT

Tropical Storm Bill has begun to weaken as it moves deeper into Texas, but threats of severe flooding and possible tornadoes remain.

At 4 p.m. CDT, the National Hurricane Center narrowed its tropical storm warning to the coastline from Port Aransas to San Luis Pass, the inlet at the western end of Galveston Island. Sustained winds were near 50 mph, but forecasters expected the winds to weaken gradually and for the storm to become a tropical depression by Wednesday morning with sustained winds no higher than 38 mph.

Rain remains the greatest threat with total rainfall of 4-8 inches expected over the eastern halves of Texas and Oklahoma with up to 12 inches in isolated areas of eastern Texas. A few tornadoes may occur over parts of southeastern and east-central Texas and western Louisiana through early Wednesday.


2:05 p.m. CDT

Rivers in Missouri continue to rise as heavy rain continues across much of the state.

The National Weather Service now projects that the Mississippi River will reach more than 5 feet above technical flood stage in St. Louis by Friday, and get to 8 feet above flood stage in Cape Girardeau on Monday.

The Missouri River is also high. It was nearly 6

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