In June 2001, a tropical storm hit the southwest of Texas becoming the first storm of the season. It came to be known as Tropical Storm Allison with a prolonged lasting of 15 days. The storm that started on June 4, 2001, emanated from a tropical wave that began in the northern Gulf of Mexico and later stroked the upper Texas coast moments after. Started with hitting the north, then turned south, and re-entered back to Gulf of Mexico. After making a landfall on Louisiana, the storm extended to the east-northeast, southwest United States, and Mid-Atlantic. Since 1998, Allison became the first storm after the Tropical Storm Frances to strike the north coast of Texas.
The development of Allison started with 96km/h (60mph) winds that extended to more than 320 kilometers to the east of the storms center. Allison made a landfall near Freeport with 80 km/h (50 mph) winds and later proceeded to north across the western of Houston on 5th June night characterized with 152-254 millimeters (6-10 inches) of rain in less than 5 hours. The heavy rainfall reached 40 inches (1, 000 mm) in Texas, and the worst happened in Houston making Allison top as the most deadly storm ever happened in the United States.
Damages caused by Hurricane Allison
Allison damages were unbelievable after flooding over 70, 000 houses and destroying 2, 744 homes leaving 30, 000 people homeless. The most hurting damage was the three deaths in Texas not forgetting the severe damages in the downtown of Houston where there were severe damages in health centers and business. In a nutshell, Allison caused an overall damage of $9 billion (2001 USD) and 41 deaths directly related to the flooding, tornados, and lightning. In Texas, there were 23 fatalities, 7 in Pennsylvania, 8 in Florida and others elsewhere.
Impact of Hurricane Allison
Allison was characterized by winds of up to 43 mph (69 kmh) and a wall of water of 8 feet (2.5 m) in height at the Galveston Pier. It dropped heavy rainfall across the Texas state of 9.77 inches (248 mm) in Galveston, 12.13 inches (308 mm) around Jamaica Beach, and other totals along the coast. Tropical Storm Allison was a major disaster throughout its path from Texas to the mid of Atlantic with the worst of flooding taking place in the Houston, Texas. This deadly flood claimed the lives of 41 people, of which 27 drowned. Additionally, there was a damage totaling to $9 billion (2001 USD, $12 billion 2014 USD) hence becoming the deadliest and costliest tropical storm ever happened in the United States records.
Recovery after the storm
In the aftermath of the disaster, President George Bush declared Texas a disaster area more particularly its counties, southern Louisiana, Northwest Florida, southwest Mississippi and southwest Pennsylvania. Through his declarations, the affected citizens received aid to cater for temporary housing, home repairs, and other expenses related to the damage. Additionally, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) pulled out 75% of the cost to cater for debris removal, repairing the damaged public utilities, and emergency services related to the storm.
Citizens were supposed to apply for disaster assistance at FEMA, and they were provided with the right information. Shelters were created for more than 48 homes and 300,000 meals served courtesy of the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army. A temporary hospital was put in place by the National Disaster Medical System and 88 professionals were deployed, serving nearly 500 people. Volunteer services came through in large numbers and offered food, clothing, and helped in repairing of the houses in Texas. Despite the outbreak of mosquito due to the recent flooding, FEMA was in good position to take control of the problem. Six months down the line, nearly 120,000 citizens benefited from the federal disaster aid that summed up to $1.05 billion. On that note, therefore, it is advisable that everyone gets insured with a natural disaster insurance company for better recovery from such uncalled for damages.