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Storm drifts back toward TX, LA

BY SUSAN KIM | HOUSTON, TX | June 7, 2001

"Flash flooding is the biggest hazard as it runs off. It's dangerous to the drivers."

—John Richer

The center of Allison, now a tropical depression, was drifting back toward the Houston area

Thursday, forecasters reported.

Flash flood watches remained posted for many parts of Texas and Louisiana Thursday.

About a foot of rain flooded roads, and stranded people in their homes and vehicles

Wednesday. Many homes in the Houston suburbs had water in basements and on the first

levels. Dozens of roads around east Texas were still closed Thursday morning.

Tropical Storm Allison -- the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season -- made

landfall early Wednesday.

Though winds did not pose much of a problem, emergency officials in both southeastern

Texas and southwestern Louisiana reported street and highway flooding.

Rain moved from Texas into western and southern Louisiana Wednesday.

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.

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 fairly 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


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


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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