Everyone along the gulf coast of the UNited States knows about hurricanes, just a couple months ago we were rocked by Hurricane Harvey. Hurricanes are huge storms that can be up to, or over, 60 miles across, and often have strong winds clocking-in between 75 and 200 miles per hour. Hurricanes form over warm ocean water before heading towards land. In addition to the rain, when a hurricane reaches land it pushes a wall of ocean water called “storm surge” ashore. Hurricanes are the most damaging natural disasters that impact the United States. Hurricanes not only bring on financial damage after the storm has passed, but can make a return to normalcy difficult with road closures, crowded medical facilities, power outages, and supplies shortages. Below are top ten storms to hit Houston Texas areas since 1990.
Tropical Storm Arlene (1993)
This storm brought about torrential rainfall to the Western United states gulf coast, particularly to the US states of Texas in June 1993. It started June 12th and ended June 21st that same year. It maximum wind speed was 40 miles per hour and has a minimum pressure of 1000 mb. There were 26 deaths attributed to the Arlene storm; 20 in El Salvador, 5 in Mexico and 1 in Texas. During this period of the storm, flooding from rainfall was also reported in Texas. The Texas division of emergency management estimated $22 million damage to homes, businesses and infrastructure.
Tropical Storm Dean (1995)
Dean started July 28th and ended August 2nd. It maximum wind speed was 45 miles per hour and it minimum pressure was 999 mbar. Thankfully, there was no reports of injuries or deaths associated with Dean. However, heavy rainfall was a problem causing $500 million USD in damages.
Tropical Storm Charley (1998)
This was the third storm of the 1998 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Charles was the first of two tropical storms to make landfall in Texas during that season. It started on the 21st of August and ended on the 24th. The storm had a maximum wind speed of 70 miles per hour and a minimum pressure of 1,001 mbar. There were 26 fatalities; 6 missing, and 20 were direct victims of the storm.
Tropical Storm Frances (1998)
This storm caused extensive flooding in Mexico and Texas in September of 1998. It lasted for only 5 days (September 8th to 13th). It had a maximum wind speed of 65 miles per hour and a minimum pressure of 990 mbar. Two fatalities were recorded and over $500 million USD worth of damage was caused by the storm.
Tropical Storm Bret (1999)
This storm was very severe. Its maximum wind speed was 145 miles per hour with a minimum pressure of 994 mbar. The storm lasted for 5 days (August 18th to 25th). Bret threatened several cities along the Texas coastline, prompting over 180,000 residents to evacuate . Numerous shelters were opened throughout the region and prisons were evacuated as well. Seven fatalities and $15 million USD worth of damages were recorded.
Tropical Storm Allison (2001)
This storm devastated southeast Texas in June 2001. It lasted 14 days (June 4th to 18th). It had a maximum wind speed of 65 miles per hour and minimum pressure of 1,000 mbar. 23 people died in Texas due to extreme floods. The worst flooding occurred here, in Houston Texas, where over 35 inches of rain fell. The storm also caused over $15 billion USD in damage making Allison the costliest and second deadliest tropical storm on record in United States (at that time).
Tropical Storm Bertha (2001)
This storm was mild compared to Allison. It lasted for 5 days (August 4th to 9th), with a maximum wind speed of 47 miles per hour and a minimum pressure of 1,007 mbar. Only one person died during this storm, due to heavy surf. The storm also caused damages of $200 million USD.
Tropical Storm Fay (2002)
Fay was a relatively light tropical storm for this list, but unique. It lasted for 3 days (September 5th to 8th). It had a maximum wind speed of 60 mph and a minimum pressure of 998 mbar. There were no fatalities, but the storm caused extremely heavy rain in inland areas; damaging properties worth more than $4.5 million USD.
Hurricane Rita (2005)
The storm was very severe with a maximum wind speed of 180 miles per hour and a minimum pressure of 895 mbar. It lasted for 7 days (September 18th-25th 2005). According to an October 25th, 2005 Disaster Center report, “4,526 single family dwellings were destroyed in Orange and Jeff ergonomic counties located in Southeast Texas.” In all, nine Texas counties and five Louisiana Parishes were declared disaster areas after the storm. In Texas, 113 were deaths reported, 107 of which were associated with the evacuation of the metropolitan area. Throughout the path of Rita, damage totalled about $15 billion dollars.
Hurricane Ike (2008)
Ike was massive, covering nearly the entire Texas coast – spreading from Corpus Christi all the way into Louisiana. With damage near $40 million dollars, Ike was until recently the fourth-costliest hurricane in the United States. And indirectly cost Texas (especially Houston) businesses millions by cutting down transportation, oil wells across the state and in the gulf, and interrupted several sporting events.
A backup generator can’t stop a hurricane, but it can help you, your family, and your neighbors stay safe when the storms hit.