The 1979 Flood


July 24-27th, 1979 (Claudette): Tropical Storm Claudette, made landfall near Galveston and made a loop just after landfall, basically stalling over Southeast Texas for 2 days. At Nederland, the pressure bottomed out at 29.46". Winds gusted to 60 mph. Chocolate Bayou has tides as high as 5 feet. A deluge of rain ensued, causing amounts greater than 10" within 40 miles of the coast from Matagorda Bay to Sabine Pass. Totals reached 45 inches at Alvin (42 inches of which fell in 24 hours, establishing a new U.S. rainfall record. (Also reported as 35.70", Alvin, Brazoria County, Jul 1979)

This caused widespread and nearly unprecedented flooding across the area; most streams didn't return to their banks until the 30th. Fifteen thousand homes and hundreds of businesses were flooded out. The rice crop was beaten into the soil by the heavy rain. Six counties in Southeast Texas were declared major disaster areas by then President Jimmy Carter.

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