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Upper Texas Coast Tropical Cyclones in the 1970s




Season Track Map

CLAUDETTE (TS - July 24th landfall) 
Claudette made landfall near Beaumont with maximum sustained winds of 55 mph. The storm's greatest impact, however, was rainfall and flooding. Areas south of Houston recorded 30-40" of rain in a three day period, including a record setting 27.75" at Alvin in one day. An unofficial but reliable rain gauge just north of Alvin recorded 43" of rainfall from noon on the 25th to noon on the 26th. Other rainfall amounts for the period July 24-26 included near 20 inches near Freeport, 13 inches at Port Arthur, and 12 inches at Texas City. Damage from flooding was estimated at 3/4 billion dollars. 

An ISOHYET MAP showing total rainfall from Tropical Storm Claudette can be used to see what locations across Southeast Texas received the most rain. Alvin's 43 inch total in 24 hours still stands as the continental United States record! See WPC's Tropical Cyclone Rainfall Report on Claudette for more rainfall information.

ELENA (TS - September 1st landfall) 
Elena formed quickly in the north central Gulf and made landfall north of Matagorda Bay. The storm caused gusty winds, torrential rain, and claimed 2 lives in Texas. See WPC's Tropical Cyclone Rainfall Report on Elena for more rainfall information.


Season Track Map

DEBRA (TS - August 28th landfall) 
Debra moved inland over the western Louisiana coast. Gusts near 40 mph, tides of 2-3', and one tornado were reported on the upper Texas coast.


Season Track Map

DELIA (TS - September 4th landfall) 
Delia made landfall near Freeport with maximum winds of 69 mph. Five persons died and $18 million damage (mostly crops) occurred as a result of the storm.


Season Track Map

FERN (Cat. 1 Hurricane - September 10th landfall) 
Fern developed from a depression in the Gulf south of Louisiana. The storm moved north and eased across the Louisiana coast at less than hurricane force, went a few miles inland, then retreated back into the Gulf and strengthened. From this point, Fern moved west toward Galveston then stalled and began a slow drift (5 mph) down the Texas coastline, thoroughly drenching everything in her path. Fern became a general nuisance to residents along the entire coastline. In Galveston, she brought heavy rains, a 6 foot tide (5.3 at Baytown), and lightning which started six fires. At Port O'Connor, she wades ashore with torrential rains and 60 mph winds and continued inland down the coast toward Mexico. Tornadoes warnings were posted in 21 counties. Four Cuban fishing boats were blown ashore on Mustang Island and were held for days until the Cuban Government paid the repair bills. Damage totaled $30 million. 

In Corpus Christi, the Marina and Kennedy Causway were closed, and city buses were sent to evacuate North Beach residents. Of special concern to disaster officials was what to do with the government trailers on North Beach which still housed victims of Hurricane Celia (1970). As Fern passed over, winds gusted to 70 mph, but wind damage was light, breaking some plate glass windows and causing minor roof damage. The tides were 3-4' above normal, and waves crashed over the T-heads. The rain was the major source of concern as up to 14" fell in some places. It was estimated that 6,500 homes and 1,000 businesses were damaged within 50 miles of Corpus Christi. 

EDITH (Cat. 2 Hurricane - September 16th landfall) 
Edith first appeared to be going to make landfall in Mexico south of Brownsville, then stalled and drifted up the Texas coast just a few days after Hurricane Fern had drifted down the coast. However, Edith's path exposed the coastline to her weaker left side and had little effect. Galveston tides ran at 4 feet, and the peak wind gust was 53 mph.


Season Track Map

FELICE (TS - September 15th landfall) 
Felice moved inland just north of Galveston with peak winds of 70 mph. The highest tide reported was 3.9', and rainfall totaled over 6" in Galveston. Gilchrist recorded a pressure of 29.48 inches and estimated winds of 70 mph. Galveston had a gust to 55 mph. Damage was insignificant.