Monday, August 23, 1999 Published at 21:55 GMT 22:55 UK
Texas border town fears floods
A fireman removes debris left by Hurricane Bret in Falfurrias
Rescue teams are gathering in the Texas border town of Laredo because of an expected deluge there that could bring severe flooding in the wake of Hurricane Bret.
Laredo Mayor Betty Flores said the city's three bridges across the Rio Grande into Mexico would be closed later on Monday because of expected flooding.
In the Mexican town of Nuevo Laredo, across the river from Laredo, officials said lower parts of the city were already underwater and 1,200 people had already been evacuated.
Hurricane Bret dumped heavy rains on southern Texas on Monday, but officials said they were relieved there were no reports of deaths so far from the once powerful storm.
Rains up to 50 cm (20 inches) were expected as Bret, now a slow-moving tropical storm with top winds of 65 km/h (40 mph) moved westward toward the Rio Grande after coming ashore on Sunday in sparsely-populated ranching country.
Corpus Christi escapes
Hurricane Bret struck the coast at about 1800EDT (2300GMT) on Sunday, midway between the cities of Brownsville and Corpus Christi.
Winds of over 190km/h (125 mph) were recorded as the storm moved inland some 90km (60 miles) south of Corpus Christi, across sparsely populated farmland.
Gusts of up to 117km/h (73mph) were measured in Corpus Christi itself, but the city escaped relatively lightly.
Businesses and homes were left boarded up as escaping traffic clogged roads heading away from the area.
President Bill Clinton, at the request of Texas Governor George W. Bush, declared seven counties a disaster area, which makes various forms of federal aid available to storm victims.