When Allison left behind Houston Chimney Caps
In Houston, Texas by the end of June 2001, all you could see from an aerial viewpoint over the city were Houston chimney caps. Starting June 4, 2001, tropical storm Allison was brewing in the Gulf of Mexico, bringing us the first storm of the season. Tropical storm Allison hit Houston June 5, 2001, pounding the city and Houston chimney caps for fifteen days straight. Houston chimney caps were all that could be seen for miles above all the flood waters.
The most impacted area in Texas from tropical storm Allison was Houston. This was the first storm since tropical storm Frances in 1998, to hit the northern Texas coastline. Allison dropped over forty inches of rain over Houston during its fifteen day long rampage. The underground tunnel systems, streets, parking garages and homes were swallowed all the way up to their Houston chimney caps. Allison still pushed across Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
Allison made landfall!
After Allison made landfall, flash flood watches and warnings were issued. Houston issued ninety nine flash flood warnings. Entire streets, freeways, bridges and parking lots were quickly becoming flooded and covered by flood waters, forcing drivers to exit and leave behind their vehicles. Citizens were scared as waters were rapidly rising, in some areas of Houston twenty foot of water covered the city. Houston alone had twelve deaths from driving, six from walking, three from electrocution, one trapped in a water filled elevator, and one man drowned in a ditch. Total Allison killed forty one people across five states by the time she finally let up. Thirty thousand people became homeless, seventy thousand Houston chimney caps were all that remained of what once were beautiful family homes.
Tropical storm Allison cost the United States nine billion dollars in damage. President George W Bush designated seventy five counties disaster areas. FEMA opened six disaster recovery centers around Houston, along with American Red Cross and the Salvation Army opening forty eight shelters. A temporary hospital had to be set up in Houston as well since the existing hospital was destroyed in the flood. Within six months of the storm passing, the United States had paid out over one billion dollars to citizens that applied for aid through the disaster fund.
Due to the extreme destruction, the storm name “Allison” was retired, and this is the only time this has occurred, when the storm did not reach hurricane classification. In 2001, Houston chimney caps were all that could be seen, now you see the Houston chimney caps sitting on a chimney proud and tall. Tropical storm Allison has come and gone, but Houston is here to stay and will continue to build and grow those beautiful Houston chimney caps.