Tropical Storm Hermine Crosses Into Texas

Hermine weakened Tuesday but continued dumping heavy rains on a northern crawl through Texas, barely holding on to tropical storm strength but leaving behind a path of widespread power outages and landslides in Mexico. Hermine (hur-MEEN') continued dissolving just south of San Antonio and was expected to be downgraded into a tropical depression later Tuesday. Most of south Texas woke up to few signs that a tropical system had swept through, aside from scattered downed trees and power lines. As when Hurricane Alex lashed the same flood-prone Rio Grande Valley in June, there was a feeling that Hermine could have been worse. There were no reports of serious injuries, damage or flooding, and authorities ordered no evacuations. Hermine dumped between 5 inches to a foot of rain after crossing into Texas late Monday. The storm made landfall in northeastern Mexico with winds of up to 65 mph (100 kph), arriving near the same spot as Alex, whose remnants killed at least 12 people in flooding in Mexico. But unlike Alex, which swiped Texas then plunged southwest into Mexico, Hermine was felt in more places. "This is going to be much more of a memorable storm than Alex," National Weather Service meteorologist Joseph Tomaselli said Tuesday. Raymondville won't forget Hermine anytime soon. The rural farming town, about 20 miles off the Texas coast, began cleaning up early Tuesday without power after Hermine ripped the roof off a roadside motel occupied by terrified guests who say they fled for safety in the nick of time. Melanie Tamyl and Roy Tamez were in their second-story room when their ceiling began bowing up and down. They opened the door just in time to watch the awning get peeled back like a lid. "I told (Melanie) that we've got to get out of here right now," said Tamez, 52. "The whole roof is about to go." Tamez and Tamyl helped two other families to evacuate the motel. They returned Tuesday to find half the roof over their room gone and their bedding soaked and soiled wit