Texas prepares emergency response as Alex gets stronger, expected to reach coast as hurricane

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) — Crews are clearing roadside ditches and boarding up windows in south Texas where residents and officials are learning they will have less time than expected to prepare for Alex before the storm hits Texas' Gulf Coast.

National Weather Service official Mark Fox told state and local officials that Alex is expected to make landfall in northern Mexico and southern Texas as a Category 1 hurricane as early as 7 p.m. Wednesday. That is about 12 hours earlier than previously forecast.

Brownsville Mayor Pat Ahumada has warned city residents that Alex would be tougher than July 2008's Hurricane Dolly, bringing more rain and stronger winds. He said Tuesday that this is a "very dangerous storm" and shouldn't be taken lightly.