National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
October Severe Weather Events
for Southeast Texas
2011 12th An afternoon EF-1 tornado caused intermittent damage along a path from near the intersection of FM 163 and SH 321 to near the intersection of FM 2286 and FM 2287 - generally to the south through southeast of the Cleveland Municipal Airport (Liberty County). A trailer was overturned and one woman was injured.
2009 1st A mid afternoon EF-0 tornado downed a few trees and four power poles between Cordele and Lake Texana near FM 530 (Jackson County).
2007 7th An afternoon lightning strike in Danburry (Brazoria County) killed a man who was standing underneath a tree.
2004 4th An afternoon thunderstorm became severe and produced quarter to golf ball size hail,damaging winds and an F0 tornado in the Friendswood (Harris and Galveston County) and League City (Galveston County) area. The tornado (damage path was 0.3 miles long and 25 yards wide) overturned an 18-wheeler at the intersection of FM 518 and FM 2351, flipped a 16 foot boat over in a residential yard, snapped trees and damaged numerous area fences. The hail damaged numerous area roofs. There was widespread tree and fence damage along with minor residential roof and home damage near the intersection of FM 518 and Bay Area Blvd. Total damage costs were $615,000.
2003 9th An F0 tornado struck Friendswood (Harris County) causing roof damage to an apartment complex at Blavkhawk and FM 528. There was also some minor damage to local businesses. Total damage costs were $19,800.
2002 28th-29th Widespread flooding across Houston and surrounding areas (Harris County). Many streets were impassable and closed and numerous creeks and bayous were out of their banks. Total damage costs were $575,000.
2002 8th A waterspout moved onshore on the east end of Galveston Island (Galveston County) and became an F0 tornado. Damage on the east end of the island included downed fences, carport damage and part of an apartment brick facade down. The tornado damage path was less than one mile long and 50 yards wide. Total damage costs were $100,000.
2001 11th An F2 tornado cut a 3.5 mile long and 100 yard wide damage path in Pasadena (Harris County). The tornado touched down near the intersection of Fairmont and Shaver and moved northeast to near the intersection of Southmore and Red-Bluff Road. Damage included 120 homes, 3 apartment complexes, 2 schools and some businesses. Total damage costs were $3.8 million.
1998 17th Two tornadoes (one at F2 intensity) touched down in ther Caldwell area (Burleson County) causing substantial damage. Twenty- two homes were completely destroyed, 37 sustained major damage and 101 homes had minor damage. Caldwell Middle School also had major damage. Tombstones weighing more than 1000 pounds were unearthed and moved. Damage stretched for 3.5 miles and was 100 yards in length. Total damage costs were $1.5 million.
1998 17th-28th Record breaking river flooding resulted from several days of extremely heavy rainfall across nearly all of Southeast Texas. The event began Saturday afternoon on the 17th as tarin echo development across the northwest portions of Southeast Texas. Through early Sunday morning on the 18th, an MCS moved slowly through the northern and western portions of the area producing extremely heavy rain. The size and intensity of the complex along with the repeated development of the heavy rains resulted in widespread average rainfall of 5 to 8 inches areawide. Many areas received in excess of 10 inches and over 16 inches of rain fell along the Wharton/Colorado County line. Rivers crested during the next week. The flooding on the San Bernard and Colorado Rivers exceeded the historical flooding of winter 1991-1992. A more detailed summary of this event can be found through the National Weather Service's Office of Meteorology.
1997 23rd A Tornado Outbreak in which 11 tornadoes developed across Southeast Texas occured during the afternoon hours. An excellent and detailed summary (including pictures and track maps) can be found at our Southeast Texas Tornado Outbreak of October 23, 1997 link.
1996 5th-8th Strong gradient winds produced by a combination of high pressure across the eastern U.S. and Tropical Storm Josephine in the Gulf of Mexico cause coastal flooding along the upper Texas coast. Tides ranged from 2 to 5 feet above astronomical predicted levels and caused substantial neach erosion, damaged beach houses and low lying coastal roads across Jackson, Matagorda, Brazoria, Galveston and Chambers counties. Numerous homes were damaged or destroyed. Total damage was around $20 million.
1994 16th-18th

The October 1994 Floods were the deadliest Southeast Texas weather event since 1983's Hurricane Alicia. Heavy rains began falling late afternoon on the 16th across Burleson, Brazos, Grimes and Washington counties. Rains quickly spread east across madison, Houston, Walker, Trinity, San Jacinto, Polk and Montgomery counties by midnight. Before sunrise on the 17th the rains had spread south into Austin, Waller, Harris and Liberty counties. Rainfall amounts overnight ranged from 10 to 18 inches in the above mentioned counties and most of these areas had experienced flash flooding during the night. During the night five lives were lost in the flash floods in three seperate instances. During the day on the 17th the heavy rain began shifting further south across southern Harris and southern Liberty counties. The city of Liberty ended up with slightly over 30 inches of rain during the storm for the greatest amount recorded. Most of the rain fell during the day on the 17th and on into the night and the next morning on the 18th. During the day on the 17th, an additional seven people drowned in the flood bringing the two day total to twelve people. On the night of the 17th and on the 18th rains continued to slide further south and began affection people in Jackson, Wharton, Matagorda, Brazoria, and portions of Fort Bend counties. Over the next two days an additional five people died as a result of the floods. Total rainfall from the entire storm generally ranged from 10 to 20 inches with Liberty recording 30.50 inches during the storm. Even before the flash flood producing rains had ended flooding of rivers, creeks and bayous had begun and would continue in some cases to the end of October. Major rivers that experienced flooding included the Trinity from just above Lake Livingston to the mouth of the Trinity River at Trinity Bay. Record height at Lake Livingston was recorded on the 17th which resulted in a record release from the dam of over 110,000 cfs. This record release in combination with an additional inflow of 45,000 cfs from Long King Creek below the dam led to a record flood along the Trinity River below Lake Livingston. The Trinity River at Liberty set a new record crest on the 21st and when a levee system failed much of the city of Liberty was under water. The San Jacinto River system across Montgomery County and northern Harris County was also at record heights during the flood. Lake Conroe reached a record height on the afternoon of the 17th which resulted in record releases from the lake and also resulted in record heights along the river all the way to Lake Houston. Spring Creek along the Harris/Montgomery County border reached a record height of 49.8 feet on the 18th breaking the previous record of 33.6 feet set in 1940. The excessive inflow into Lake Houston resulted in a record height at lake Houston of 52.76 feet which is three feet higher than the previous record. The uncontrolled spillway at Lake Houston released an estimated 354,000 cfs into the lower San Jacinto River that eventually flows into the Houston Ship Channel. The tremendous flows caused four fuel pipelines to rupture resulting in a fuel spill in the river and subsequent fires. Further west the Colorado and Brazos Rivers were also in flood. The floods on the Brazos lasted until the 27th in Brazoria County even though Brazoria County for the most part was spared the heavy rain the previos week. Even further west the Lavaca Navidad in Jackson County went into flood closing Highway 59 in Edna. The river remained above flood sdtage until the end of the week. In Harris, northern Brazoria and northern Galveston counties Sims Bayou and Clear Creek left their banks flooding several subdivisions and causing numerous evacuations. In summary, 17 people lost their lives during the flood. Over 13,000 people had to be evacuated during the floods and over 22,000 homes received flood damage. Total damage to homes and businesses was approximately $800 million while another $100 million was done to roads and bridges throughout Southeast Texas. During the height of the flood several major highways leading into and out of Houston were impassable due to high water. These included Interstate 10 east of Houston, Highway 59 at Humble in northeast Harris County and Interstate 45 at Conroe in Montgomery County.

Additional information can be found on the U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet.
1993 12th Golf ball size hail was reported by The Woodlands fire department at The Woodlands fire station (Montgomery County) in the morning.
1991 1st A late afternooon F1 Tornado was reported by the Jackson County sheriff's office 4 miles south of Lolita. The tornado passed over the construction site of Formosa Plastics and demolished a portion of the building. Estimated damage to the building was a quarter of a million dollars.
1989 15th-16th Hurricane Jerry became the latest landfalling hurricane along the Upper Texas Coast during a hurricane season since records began in 1886. Jerry was known for its heavy rains, flooding and tornadoes. A more detailed summary of Jerry can be found in ourHurricane Climatology link.
1988 1st Thunderstorm Winds up to 58 mph were recorded at Houston's Intercontinental Airport (Harris County) just before midnight.
1986 23rd Flooding occurred in the southern parts of Brazoria and Matagorda counties as 6 inches of rain was reported in some areas. Most of the rain fell during the night and flooding was reported in and around Freeport, Bay City, Matagorda and Wadsworth. Many local roads were covered with water and some were impassable. However, no serious flooding was reported. At an intracoastal waterway gate at Matagorda, 12 inches of rain was measured.
1985 26th-28th The outer fringes of Hurricane Juan were felt across coastal locations of Southeast Texas as Louisiana took the brunt of the hurricane. On the 26th and the morning of the 27th, tides all along the Texas coast were above normal. Galveston's tides were about 4 feet above normal, with coastal flooding of low lying areas. State Highway 87 which skirts the coastline between Galveston and Sabine Pass was closed. As the slow moving hurricane approached the Louisiana coast late on the 28th and 29th, tides along the Texas coast reversed themselves to 1 to 2 feet below normal because of the strong offshore winds. The below normal tides minimized the flooding in areas that had received heavy rains. Galveston's peak wind gust of 58 mph occurred at around noon on the 28th.
1984 21st-22nd An active October 1984 began with flooding and flash flooding across Brazoria, Galveston and Matagorda counties. A slow moving cold front moved in over Southeast Texas during the afternoon and evening on the 21st, setting off very heavy thunderstorms and accompanying rains. The front slowed down and became stationary after dark, and finally drifted offshore just after midnight. Up to 10 inches of rain fell in some locations. In Brazoria County, persons in the communities of Freeport, Danbury and Jones Creek were evacuated to higher ground because of rising flood waters. Several homes were flooded in Clute. There was serious flooding in Alvin, Lake Jackson, Sweeny and Liverpool. 8 inches of rain fell at Freeport and 5.25 inches was measured at the National Weather Service office in Alvin. In Matagorda County, 5.85 inches of rain fell shortly before nightfall near Bay City. In Bay City, there was widespread street flooding. Near Sargent, high water spilled over roadways and over creek banks, and put water in several homes. There were several businesses that were closed due to high water. The flooding in the Sargent area lasted for several days because of poor drainage. Flood waters were slow to recede. In Galveston County, there was serious flooding in the Dickinson area from the deluge of 7 inches of rain and the unusual high tides of Galveston Bay. Tides of 3 to 4 feet pushed water up the Dickinson Bayou and caused serious street flooding in Dickinson. The same conditions caused flooding in La Marque, Texas City and portions of Galveston Island. There was also high water reported at Alta Loma and Hitchcock. Numerous roads and highways were closed throughout the three county area during the event.
1984 22nd An F2 Tornado struck areas south of Houston. A strong and active stationary front was located about 40 miles south of the Houston area. Heavy thunderstorms formed just to the north of the front in the cooler air and produced very high winds and a tornado over southeast Houston and the suburbs of South Houston and Pasadena. The tornado moved in an arc from west to east, then northeast and finally north. The damage pattern suggested that a downburst most likely accompanied the tornado, causing strong damaging winds to the right side of the tornado's path. The most serious damage was to a 498 unit apartment complex where 200 units suffered damage. 500 windows of the complex were broken out by the flying debris and hail that fell. many automobiles in the parking lot of the complex were damaged from the flying debris. Nearby, 8 mobile homes were destroyed. 24 utility poles were blown over along with power lines and many signs. At the Almeda Mall on the Gulf Freeway, a wall of one of the stores was blown over. At least seven mall stores in a three block area suffered damage. Golf ball size hail broke out some of the windows in the mall. Other stores and businesses in the area suffered damage. One automobile dealer near the mall had 300 cars damaged from the wind and hail. Mall parking lot light standards were blown over. Hail was piled up on the streets and parking lots for several hours.
1984 25th-26th The severe weather of October 1984 in Houston and the surrounding areas closed out withmore flooding and flash flooding across Fort Bend, Harris, Matagorda and Montgomery Counties. Very heavy thunderstorms formed along a stationary front and produced some very heavy rainfalls with some amounts up to 10 inches. The heavy rains began just after sunrise on the 25th over the western part of Harris County and the northern part of Fort Bend County. Heavy rains up to 5 inches fell in the area around Katy, which produced widespread flooding of streets and lowlands. By late morning and early afternoon, the axis of heavy rains shifted to the east about 20 miles and centered itself over the southern part of Montgomery County southward over Harris County to the downtown area. The heaviest rains were concentrated over the northern portion of the city of Houston, northward to the Intercontinental Airport and the areas drained by Cypress Creek. Greens Bayou and White Oak Bayou were also seriously flooded. Subdivisions along Cypress Creek that were affected by high water included Inverness Forest and Woodlands Trails North. Some of these homes had 3 to 4 feet of water in them. Automobiles were almost submerged in high water in these areas. In the Old Oaks sundivision of north Houston more homes were flooded. All together, about 650 homes were flooded and about 500 persons were sent to emergency shelters. Some students of the Aldine Independent School District had to be evacualted by air boats and four wheel drive vehicles. There was one drowning victim that occurred when automobile, after being involved in a traffic accident, went down an embankment into a drainage ditch where the victim could not get out. At the peak of the flooding, officials with the city of Houston said there were so many streets flooded that they were unable to keep a list of them.