Storm pours foot of rain

BY SUSAN KIM | GALVESTON, TX | June 5, 2001



"Flash flooding poses the biggest hazard as it runs off. t's dangerous to drivers."

—John Richer


The first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, Allison was downgraded to a tropical depression by Wednesday morning.

Though winds did not pose much of a problem, emergency officials in both southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana

reported street and highway flooding.

The storm's remaining rain moved into western and southern Louisiana Wednesday. In Texas, the Houston suburbs saw three

inches of rain for several hours through Tuesday night for total of 11 inches of rain. Firefighters rescued people stranded in homes

and vehicles Tuesday night.

The storm, which formed quickly in the Gulf of Mexico Tuesday, moved across Galveston, TX with 60-mph winds. It also spawned

tornadoes that caused scattered damage.

In the town of Manvel, TX, a tornado touched down, uprooting trees and damaging at least one home.

Residents can still expect a storm surge of two to four feet above normal tidal levels, reported forecasters.

The first Gulf storm of the season makes everyone go on high alert, said Terry

Thompson, operations manager for the Louisiana Office of Emergency Preparedness.

"We always get antsy and anxious about it."

Local parishes in Louisiana placed sandbags at central locations in case residents needed

them, he said.

But Thompson added that he thinks the coastline weathered Allison well because local

emergency management officials and residents alike were prepared. "Just last week we

had a hurricane exercise."

John Richer, director of Allen Parish emergency response, joked that he'd rather not even call Tropical Storm Allison "a storm."

"We just call that heavy rain," he said, adding that the area was prepared to handle a lot of rain. "Flash flooding poses the biggest

hazard as it runs off," he said. "It's dangerous to drivers."

Local churches and response groups in both Louisiana and Texas reported they went through their customary preparation tasks.

The Salvation Army has its canteen packed and ready to roll, said Mike Crawford, head of disaster relief for the Salvation Army in

Galveston, TX. "We can go anywhere the need arises."

Galveston's history may make residents there more apt to prepare for storms. In 1900, a massive hurricane killed some 6,000 people

there.


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