WASHINGTON - Hurricane Dolly has gone from a howling Category 2 hurricane to a wet mess. Before it's all over, Dolly will affect a million and a half Texans in its path.
But the storm's biggest danger comes from water, not wind.
The Worst Still Ahead
The hurricane was literally quite a blow, but the worst may still be ahead for south Texas which is now flooding from a foot of rain or more.
"Flooding is our biggest concern. If we get 15 to 20 inches of rain - that's a lot of water for our county. We haven't seen that much water at any one time for a while," Johnny Cavazos of Cameron County Emergency Management said.
"We're praying to God that everything clears up," Texas resident Maria Renteria said.
Part of the problem is that Hurricane Dolly didn't stay a hurricane long enough. As it hit the coast, the land killed its momentum.
It wound down to a tropical storm and then began crawling across south Texas and a chunk of Mexico at a torturously slow seven miles an hour, prolonging the agony for those who're getting all that rain dumped on them and watching the flood waters rise around them.
But during its hours as a hurricane, the ferocity of Dolly's 100 mile-an-hour winds and gusts of up to 120 miles an hour surprised many Texans who are used to disaster predictions turning out to be false alarms.
"A little while ago there was a big piece of something that came off of some kind of awning or something out there. And it came flying across the street and thank goodness the wind hit it down the street and took it," storm victim Gwen Krummel said.
The winds literally ripped the door right off this liquor store.
"The wind is just really strong right up here and I guess it just caught and sucked it right off," said Hector Cantu whose story was damaged.
The force of the winds was apparent as they kept hammering away at a giant Valero gas station sign, finally toppling it over.
Food for Adrenaline Junkies
While Dolly was could be a disaster for some, for others it was also a cheap thrill.
"Wow, it's not what I was expecting, but it's pretty awesome!" Texas resident Jacob said. "This is my first hurricane!"
"It's really cool!" laughed one woman. "
"Cool but scary!" another woman added.
And this is just the start of the scary season. The busiest months for hurricanes are usually August and September.
Forecasters warn that 2008 probably has four to seven more hurricanes in store, and 10 to 14 more storms strong enough to earn names.