Hurricane Claudette, with winds of 130 kilometers an hour, is lashing the coast of the U.S. State of Texas.
Heavy rains and high winds are reported from along much of the Texas coastline, and as far east as the state of Louisiana.
Forecasters say total rainfall of 13-20 centimeters and a storm surge of between 90 and 150 centimeters above normal tide levels could bring heavy flooding to the region. Hurricane-force winds extend outward about 40 kilometers from the storm center. Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 225 kilometers.
The brunt of the storm will be felt along 300 kilometer area stretching from the cities of Galveston to Corpus Christi. Authorities have urged some residents in low-lying areas to evacuate their homes.
Claudette is the first Hurricane of the 2003 Atlantic and Caribbean season. With winds of less than 150 kilometers an hour, Claudette is a category one hurricane - the lowest on the Saffir-Simpson scale of strength - but authorities warn any hurricane is extremely dangerous.