National Guard teams are hunkering down on the Texas coast as Tropical Storm Erin moves in, carrying a “high risk of dangerous flash flooding,” the governor has warned. CNN reports that Erin intensified in the Gulf of Mexico today and will strike the Lone Star State tomorrow morning with 40 mph winds and 8 inches of rain. But it will not reach hurricane strength before hitting the shore.
Meanwhile oil prices spiked today, in part over worries that the storm will play havoc with oil and natural gas output in the Gulf. Shell Oil employees hightailed out of a natural gas facility to steer clear of the storm; other companies are evaluating the risk. A drop in crude stockpiles also impacted oil prices, which jumped roughly a dollar in the US and UK.