Tropical Storm Allison was a tropical storm that devastated southeast Texas on Tuesday, June 5, 2001.
The first storm of the season, Allison lasted unusually long for a June storm, remaining tropical or subtropical for 15 days. The storm developed from a tropical wave in the northern Gulf of Mexico on June 4, 2001, and struck the upper Texas coast the next day. It drifted northward through the state, turned back to the south, and re-entered the Gulf of Mexico. The storm continued to the east-northeast, made landfall on Louisiana, then moved across the southeast United States and Mid-Atlantic. Allison was the first storm since Tropical Storm Frances in 1998 to strike the northern Texas coastline.
The storm dropped heavy rainfall along its path, over 40 inches (1,000 mm) in Houston Texas, where the worst flooding of the storm occurred: 30,000 became homeless after the storm flooded over 70,000 houses and destroyed 2,744 homes. Downtown Houston was inundated with flooding, causing severe damage to hospitals and businesses. Houston's downtown tunnel system was flooding to the roof with water for weeks. Freeways were under as much as 20 feet of water for days.
Twenty-three people died in Texas. Along its entire path, Allison caused $5.5 billion ($7.1 billion 2012 USD) in damage and 41 deaths. Aside from Texas, the places worst hit were Louisiana and southeastern Pennsylvania, but nothing compared to the devastation that put a major city on hold for weeks.
One of the most horrific tragedies was that of Kristie Tautenhahn, a proofreader at a downtown law firm located in the Bank of America building. She died on the second-lowest level of an underground garage beneath the building when a security guard informed workers to move their cars due to flooding. Krisitie was parked on the lower underground level. The elevator she took, lowered her into 20 feet of water and slowly submerged her and she was trapped in the elevator as the water started to rise and the power went out in the elevator where she subsequently drowned.
Some photos can be found of the storm damage on local Khou webpage
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