Today In History: Tropical Storm Allison caused havoc (2001)

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On June the 8th in 2001, Tropical Storm Allison once again hit Houston, Texas. It was the second time in three days, that the Texan city had been hit by that storm. Allison was not a hurricane but was categorized as a tropical storm, but such was the ferocity of the storm that by the time it ended it caused billions worth of damaged and killed up to fifty people. Those who experienced the storm will never forget it.

Allison originated in the Atlantic and moved towards the American coast in early June. By the morning of June 6, its winds were  recorded as high as 60 miles per hour. When Storm Allison first hit Houston it drenched the city with rain and battered the city with high winds, causing much damage. Tropical Storm Allison was unusual in that it hovered over the cost for several days and this was why it was so destructive. The storm also caused flooding and damage in Baton Rouge and Southern Louisiana.

Houston, TX, June 19, 2001 -- The American Red Cross assists flood victims following Tropical Storm Allison. Photo by Andrea Booher/ FEMA News Photo
RELIEF WORKERS IN HOUSTON

In one area of Texas, eleven inches of rain fell. This led to large-scale flooding. many people were stranded in their cars and in their homes. The emergency services saved many lives. The National Guard was also called out to help the emergency services during the storm

On June, the 11th a weather system moved in from the Rocky Mountain and this system collided with the Tropical Storm and this led to very high winds and rains. The storm became stronger and the speed of the winds increased, dramatically. As a result of this freak weather, some eleven people died in a single day in Texas.

Baton Rouge, LA, June 20, 2001-- A flooded home in Chackbay, Louisiana. This was the last area for the flood water to recede following tropical storm Allison. FEMA News Photo by Butch DuCote/FEMA News Photo.
FLOODING IN TEXAS

For the next week, Allison continued to pound the American coast. It dumped rain all along the eastern coast and this caused havoc. The storm led to the death of nine people in Florida, because of traffic accidents caused by the bad weather. Nine deaths were also reported in North Carolina all a result of traffic accidents caused by heavy winds and rains. In Virginia, at least one woman was killed by a falling tree. In Pennsylvania, the flooding caused by the storm was severe and cause extensive flooding. This led to a natural gas explosion in Hatboro, in the state. The explosion happened in an apartment block and this led to the deaths of six people and many injuries.

The amount of property destroyed or damaged by the storm was very great. There are no reliable figures, but it is believed to have run into many billions. Insurance companies were particularly badly hit. Many areas need Federal Government assistance to rebuild roads and bridges.

Tropical Storm Allison proved that storms need not be particularly strong or fast-moving to be deadly and destructive. We are used to thinking that Hurricanes are particularly dangerous. However, Allison showed that this was not the case and that Tropical Storms could be very dangerous and lethal. Allison was so lethal because of a unique weather event, that does not occur with any great frequency.

 

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