So you are new to southeast Texas and maybe you have heard people say you don’t have to worry until August when the “real” hurricane season begins.
I need to dispel this myth.
Many of the folks living in southeast Texas today were not here in 2001, when an otherwise unremarkable tropical storm named Allison came ashore in southeast Texas on June 5. That’s right, June. Now, you are probably thinking, how unusual that must have been. Well, 12 years earlier in June - yes, June, 1989 - another tropical storm also named Allison came ashore in southeast Texas.
Both Allisons formed in the Gulf of Mexico and both were prodigious rainmakers across the Gulf Coast states. Each Allison produced widespread 10-15 inch rain totals with isolated amounts of 30 inches or more. The resulting flooding made Allison 2001 the costliest U.S. storm not to reach hurricane intensity and caused over 35 deaths. Allison 1989 also caused record flooding and nearly $1 billion in damage, the worst flooding was from east of Houston into Louisiana.
Some folks may think we cannot have a major (category 3, 4 or 5) hurricane in June. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Hurricane Audrey, 1957 formed in the Bay of Campeche on June 25, moved steadily north and rapidly intensified, coming ashore on June 27 near Sabine Pass. Audrey was a large Category 4 and produced a deadly storm surge contributing to over 400 deaths in southwest Louisiana.
OK, folks, hurricane season 2014 is here. The season forecast is for somewhere around eight to 11 named storms three to five hurricanes. Remember, it only takes one in our neck of the woods to make it a big hurricane season.
Time for us to be prepared!