5 NATURAL DISASTERS IN TEXAS OVER THE YEARS
Five Natural Disasters in Texas Over the Years
We can all handle a little bit of rain and thunder. Or the occasional snowfall with a short power outage. But, nothing compares to these minor scenarios like a catastrophic storm. The McClenny Moseley, and Associates (MMA) team will break down five natural disasters in Texas from over the years.
One storm in particular that closely affected the MMA team was the 2017 Hurricane Harvey. Harvey hit the gulf of Texas on Friday, August 25 widening the eyes of many. The immense amount of rain and wind speeds tracked up to 170 mph. The storm surge reached a total height ranging between 10 to 12 feet. As the storm began to make its path throughout the Lone Star State, it maneuvered north to Victoria, Texas. Then proceeded up to our beloved Houston.
Starting to slow its pace, Harvey was classified as a tropical storm. Once it reached the brink of Houston it still caused a good deal of damage. The rain continued to progress creating a gushing two feet of water throughout the city. This was the main factor in the breaking of the Columbia Lakes levee.
Members from FEMA called this storm “the worst disaster the state has ever seen.” Finally, after four days of continuous rain, Harvey moved it’s path towards east Texas, giving Houston the relief it so eagerly was waiting for. The rain might have subsided but the grief was tremendous. Harvey created a total of $125 billion dollars in damage, the second most costly natural disaster to hit the U.S. mainlands since 1900.
In May of 1997, one of the most rampageous tornadoes in modern U.S. history hit the outer rim of Jarrell, TX, a small town about 40 miles from Austin. This specific tornado wreaked havoc and cost the lives of 27 people. This tornado was different than many others due to the fact that it had a significantly slower speed. With components like the strength and size and the addition of the slow forward speed, some areas that got hit were exposed to its intense winds for more than three minutes.
The Jarell Tornado blew some homes completely away and left no trace of any household remains. Winds were so strong that even asphalt was pulled up out of the ground and cars were flung miles from their parking spots. Due to the lack of proper doppler radars at the time, the wind speeds were hard to calculate exactly. But, based on the aftermath Jarell was rated an F5 with estimated wind speeds topped at 3-second gusts ranging between 261-318 mph.
Galveston’s Great Storm
Did you know that prior to the great storm that hit Galveston in 1900, the city of Galveston was the largest in Texas? The immense property damage and loss of life bumped Galveston down and Houston up on the list. This monumental hurricane is still the worst natural disaster to ever hit the U.S. and killed close to 12,000 people. In the year 1900 the city of Galveston was large, populated and a major cotton port for the entire U.S. After the storm, all business was moved to the nearest access, Houston, putting them on the map.
Bastrop County Complex Fire 2011
Labor Day weekend of 2011 in Bastrop County, Texas was faced with the worst wildfire in its history. It took a total of seven days for the fire to be contained enough to where residents were allowed to return to their homes. 30 days later and the fire was finally contained. Over 34,000 acres of land was completely destroyed and burned to the crisp. To this day, the county is trying to recuperate from the tragic fire. Many of the lost pines are being reforested in a sea of tree trunk remnants from the 2011 fire aftermath.
Tropical Storm Allison
Tropical Storm Allison hit in 2001, prior to Harvey, but the two storms have similar effects and are commonly compared today. Allison was formed on June 4 and dissipated on the 20 of the same month. The storm hit the Gulf Coast of Texas and was considered a “500-year flood.” The effects Allison had on the city of Houston included torrential downpours of rain totaling five days. The storm caused a total of $5 billion worth of damages.
Texas and many other cities throughout the United States have been through a lot over the years. MMA asks that you be prepared for this year’s storm season.
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