Tropical Storm Bill makes landfall; Tornado Watch for parts of North Texas

Tropical Storm Bill has made landfall on the Texas coast along Matagorda Island northeast of Corpus Christi.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami says the storm had maximum sustained winds of 60 mph Tuesday morning as it came ashore about 90 miles southwest of Houston.

A Tornado Watch was issued for parts of North Texas on Tuesday afternoon that will be in effect until midnight. The affected counties include Navarro and Henderson.

A Flash Flood Watch remains in effect until Thursday night for all of North Texas.

RADAR LINK: Monitor Tropical Storm Bill on our local and regional radar

Officials throughout Texas are concerned the rain delivered by Bill could renew widespread flooding, which killed more than 30 people in the state last month. Texas state climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon says May was the wettest month on record for Texas, with an average rainfall of nearly 9 inches.

According to projections by the National Weather Service, parts of North Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma could get up to 9 inches of rain over the next five days.

Thunderstorms associated with Tropical Storm Bill are expected produce heavy rain and cause widespread flash flooding and are likely to re-aggravate river flooding, especially along the Trinity River.

Dallas officials said crews would be working around the clock to check on road conditions for potential flooding in problem areas. The city's Emergency Operations Center will be fully activated by Wednesday morning.

Problems could come when water from Lewisville and Grapevine Lakes is released on Wednesday and moves downstream via the Trinity River.

The City of Arlington offered residents up to 25 free sand bags and there were plenty of takers on Tuesday. People who lived along Rush Creek and other flood-prone areas were seen stocking up Tuesday afternoon.

The Houston Independent School District closed schools and offices as a precaution on Tuesday. District officials said heavy rain could make driving dangerous on Tuesday afternoon. Schools and offices are expected to re-open at their regular times Wednesday.

Regular classes ended at the end of May but some Houston campuses have been running summer school classes since early June.

Galveston County officials already have directed voluntary evacuation of the low-lying Bolivar Peninsula, where Hurricane Ike wiped out most structures in 2008. School districts from Galveston to the Houston suburbs have canceled Tuesday's classes.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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