Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Today in Severe Weather History for August 3

On this date in 1970, Hurricane Celia struck the Texas coast, making landfall near Corpus Christi as a strong category 3 storm.  

The storm packed winds of up to 180 mph at Aransas Pass, where boats were thrown around like tinker toys in the bays and waterways.

The deadly storm killed 15 and caused over $450 million in damage (roughly equal to $2.6 billion today).  Nearly 9,000 single family homes were destroyed and over 60,000 damaged in the Corpus Christi/Aransas Pass areas.  

Damage was so widespread and severe, many insurance companies refused to write or even renew policies in this area following Celia.  This caused the state of Texas to establish the Texas Catastrophe Property Insurance Association (today referred to as the Texas Wind Pool).  

Due to the severity of the damage produced by Celia, the name was retired and never used again.  It was replaced by the name "Carmen" the following year - and funny enough, that name was also retired after first use in 1971.

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