Nature

In the Eye of the Storm: 5 Hurricanes That Impacted the Lone Star State

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On Friday, Aug. 25, what was thought to be the largest hurricane to affect Texas since 1961 hurled itself into the state’s central coastline, bringing with it torrential rain and wind gusts in excess of 130 mph. By landfall, the storm was a category four, and at the time of this story, Harvey’s long term effects remain to be seen, but weather experts believe the damage will be catastrophic, making this storm one for the record books.

However, Harvey is not the first hurricane to have a major impact on the Texas landscape and economy. Below is a list of five hurricanes that wreaked havoc on the state and brought with them the loss of property, and most tragically, loss of life.

1. 1900—Galveston Hurricane

1900 Damage from Galveston Hurricane

Photo: Facebook/Angel Muniz Arquitecto

Tragically, on Sept. 8, 1900, a category four hurricane pummeled the coastal city of Galveston leaving death and destruction in its wake. It is estimated anywhere from 6,000 to 8,000 people lost their lives after vacationers and locals ignored a warning from the U.S. Weather Bureau to flee to higher ground. To this day, the immense loss of life has not been repeated in any other weather-related disaster in America.

2. 1961—Hurricane Carla

1961 damage from hurricane Carla

Photo: Facebook/Traces of Texas

Before there was Harvey, Hurricane Carla ravaged the Texas coast 56 years ago. The category four storm caused a mass exodus (the largest peace-time evacuation in history at the time it occurred), as people fled the onset of the monster tempest. Altogether, 34 lives were lost and $408 million worth of damage was done.

3. 1999—Hurricane Bret

1999 Residents prep for Hurricane Bret

Photo: Facebook/Dennis Owen

In 1999, the city of Corpus Christi narrowly missed a direct pummeling from Hurricane Bret. However, before making landfall the category three storm changed direction and landed in the less populated area of Padre Island. Although the storm was intense, the final count of deaths indirectly attributed to it was four. Total damages accumulated to approximately $60 million in Texas.

4. 2005—Hurricane Rita

Magnum Photos-2005 Damage from Hurricane Rita
Photo: Facebook/Magnum Photos

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