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Severe Weather in Texas: 1880s

Severe weather in Texas can be categorized by two factors: loss of life and the cost of damage estimating over $1 million. The following events were included because they caused an extensive amount of destruction and in some cases, fatalities were also a result of the severe weather.

Aug. 13, 1880: Hurricane. Center struck Matamoros, Mexico; lower Texas coast affected.

Oct. 12–13, 1880: Hurricane. Brownsville. City nearly destroyed, many lives lost.

Dec. 29, 1880: Snow. Brownsville. A rare snowstorm in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

Aug. 23–24, 1882: Torrential rains caused flooding on the North and South Concho and Bosque rivers (South Concho reported 45 feet above normal level), destroying Benficklen, then county seat of Tom Green County, leaving only the courthouse and jail. More than 50 persons drowned in Tom Green and Erath counties, with property damage at $200,000 and 10,000 to 15,000 head of livestock lost.

Aug. 19–21, 1886: Hurricane. Indianola. Every house destroyed or damaged. Indianola was never rebuilt.

Oct. 12, 1886: Hurricane. Sabine, Jefferson County. Hurricane passed over Sabine. The inundation extended 20 miles inland and nearly every house in the vicinity was moved from its foundation; 150 persons were drowned.

June 27–July 1, 1899: Rainstorm. A storm, centered over the Brazos River watershed, precipitated an average of 17 inches over 7,000 square miles. At Hearne, the gage overflowed at 24 inches; estimated total rainfall was 30 inches. At Turnersville, Coryell County, 33 inches were recorded in three days. This rain caused the worst Brazos River flood on record. Between 30 and 35 lives were lost. Property damage was estimated at $9 million.

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