OKLAHOMA CITY -- An exceptionally busy Atlantic hurricane season churned along Saturday as the Texas coast prepared for a tropical storm that could strengthen into a hurricane before reaching shore this week.
Galveston and Galveston County issued voluntary evacuation orders Saturday ahead of Tropical Storm Beta, as did the city of Seabrook to the north of Galveston.
Mayor Pro Tem Craig Brown said in a statement that high tides and an expected up to 10 inches of rain will leave roads impassable, especially along the city's west end and low-lying areas.
County Judge Mark Henry said during a Saturday news conference that he is also concerned about rising waters creating a storm surge, but a mandatory evacuation is not expected.
"If you can survive in your home for three or four days without power and electricity, which we're not even sure that's going to happen, you're OK," Henry said. "If it's uncomfortable or you need life support equipment, maybe go somewhere else."
Tropical Storm Beta brewed Saturday in the Gulf of Mexico, 320 miles east-southeast of Corpus Christi, Texas, and 245 miles south of Lake Charles, La., the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in an advisory.
The system was expected to be near hurricane strength as it approaches Texas today and Monday. Forecasters issued a tropical storm warning from Port Aransas, Texas, to Intracoastal City, La. A storm surge warning was issued from Port Aransas, Texas, to High Island, Texas.
If Beta makes landfall in Texas, it would be the ninth named storm to make landfall in the continental U.S. in 2020, tying a record set in 1916, according to Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach.
In Lake Charles, La., where thousands of people remain without power more than three weeks after Hurricane Laura slammed into the coast, there are concerns that Beta will again super-soak the region. Up to 20 inches of rain is possible in some parts of the area, Donald Jones, a National Weather Service meteorologist based in Lake Charles, said.
Beta had maximum sustained winds at 60 mph and was stationary Saturday.
Forecasters were predicting up to 4 feet of storm surge along parts of the Texas coast that included Baffin Bay, Corpus Christi Bay, Galveston Bay and more. Wind, heavy rainfall and life-threatening surf and rip current conditions were also expected with the storm.
Forecasters ran out of traditional storm names Friday, prompting them to move to the Greek alphabet for names for only the second time since the 1950s.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Teddy remained powerful Saturday, with maximum sustained winds at 120 mph and moving northwest at 13 mph. Teddy was centered 475 miles southeast of Bermuda less than a week after Hurricane Paulette made landfall in the British territory.
A tropical storm warning was in effect for Bermuda. Large swells from Teddy were forecast to affect the Lesser Antilles, the Greater Antilles, the Bahamas and Bermuda, and were expected to impact the U.S. East Coast.
Parts of the Alabama coast and Florida Panhandle are still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Sally, which roared ashore Wednesday. At least two deaths were blamed on the system.
The Salvation Army was distributing roughly 9,000 meals Saturday at nine locations throughout the panhandle.
Information for this article was contributed by Kelli Kennedy and Jeff Martin of The Associated Press.