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Taking a look back: Tropical Storm Allison

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Posted: Jun 11, 2014 7:53 PM by Meteorologist Robert Gauthreaux
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We've seen a lot of rainfall here in southeast Louisiana over the past few weeks, but that doesn't compare to what we experienced 13 years ago today when Tropical Storm Allison made landfall in Morgan City, La. Allison is the only tropical name to have been retired having never reached hurricane strength.

June 11, 2001 wasn't Allison's first landfall. Allison first made landfall a few days prior near Freeport, TX where it eventually moved inland and stalled. This brought heavy rain to areas of east Texas, especially around the Houston area with totals nearing 30" in some places, and peaking at 40.68" at the Moore Rd. Detention Pond in northwest Jefferson County, TX. After stalling over land for such a long time, the tropical characteristics of Allison were practically non-existent. Allison made a loop and her remnants returned to the gulf, where she stalled again, yet bringing more rain to the Texas coast. Over the gulf, the storm eventually restrengthened and became better organized into a subtropical storm with a well-defined eye. It then moved northeast toward Louisiana where it also dropped heavy rainfall bringing near 30" to some areas. Areas near Thibodaux and Morgan City saw the most rain. According to the comprehensive storm surge database SURGEDAT, the highest storm surge was 3' at Galveston Island and the highest in Louisiana was 2.5' near Cameron in Cameron Parish, La.

There were 41 deaths directly related Allison with regard to heavy rain, flooding, tornadoes and surf. Thousands of East Baton Rouge Parish residents were forced from their homes. A tornado in Zachary, La. resulted in the death of a man in his pickup. The Amite and Comite rivers smashed flooding records set in 1983.

Chief Forecaster Pat Shingleton recalls the event and said,"Parts of Highland were under water. The area around Highland and Burbank which at the time was pasture, was inundated with water." He said it is the worst flooding he has ever witnessed in the area.

Meteorologist Josh Eachus said, "Tropical Storm Allison reminds us that the category doesn't matter. Every tropical threat always needs to be taken seriously."

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