Pat Shingeton: "One of the Worst..."
Two years ago we covered Tropical Storm Allison that spun into the Atlantic. This storm did not compare to another "Allison" as I often wondered why that storm name wasn't retired, based upon what occurred in early June, of 2001. Tropical Storm Allison became a real treat for surfers on the Texas coast. Allison's preliminary landfall created extraordinary large and well-shaped waves along the upper and middle Texas coast. Offshore winds spun along the coast, meeting swells radiating east across the open gulf. North-northwest winds flattened the tidal surge and sculpted waves that resembled those along the Pacific coast. Early on June 5, 2001, Galveston, recorded six-foot seas advancing to 12-foot seas at 2:00 P.M. Surfers enjoyed excellent surf inside the Freeport Ship Channel jetties, south of Houston. As word got out, the outbound lanes of Texas Highway 288 were packed with inbound surfers. Once the storm parked in Houston it was a disaster. The storm unloaded 35 inches of rain on the heavily populated city causing 41 deaths; 27 as the result of drowning and was categorized as the costliest and deadliest tropical storm in United States history. On June 8, the remnants of the storm drifted south, re-forming over the northwestern Gulf of Mexico. The system lingered, spun and reorganized as a tropical cyclone before moving inland over Louisiana on the 11th. That morning, the winds increased to 45 m.p.h., as the center moved across southeastern Louisiana and southeastern Mississippi. On June 14 it became a sub-tropical depression and tracked east-northeast, stalling over eastern North Carolina. For three days it wandered around the mid-Atlantic coast, merged with a cold front and dissipated in Nova Scotia on the 19th. Allison was a tremendous rain machine with more than 20 inches in Baton Rouge. I remember Highland Road to Bluebonnet closed and covered with a foot of water. Daily delivery of the "original" Weather News at www.patshingleton.com.