Edouard Comes Ashore as Strong Tropical Storm

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) - Tropical Storm Edouard hit the Texas Gulf coast east of Galveston today with strong winds and heavy rain. But the storm did little more than soak the travelers who came to relax on the tourist town's beaches.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami says the storm made landfall over a stretch of coast east of Galveston and west of the Louisiana border, between the small coastal town of High Island and Sabine Pass. Though forecasters had feared it could become a hurricane, its sustained winds only reached 65 miles per hour, short of hurricane strength at 74 miles per hour.

The storm is expected to weaken later in the day as it moves west-northwest over Texas.  Strong winds and horizontal rain were hitting the Bolivar Peninsula, a thin strip of land northeast of Galveston that separates Galveston Bay from the Gulf of Mexico. The area is dotted with beach houses and patches of trees.

Some homes and businesses in the small peninsula town of Crystal Beach were boarded up early today and some street lights were out, but there were no apparent signs of serious damage.  In Galveston, a few surfers were in the water and some people were riding bikes alongside the beach as the heavy rains approached.