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Severe Weather in Texas: 1930s

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.

May 6, 1930: Tornado. Bynum, Irene and Mertens in Hill County; Ennis, Ellis County; and Frost, Navarro County; 41 killed; damage $2.1 million.

May 6, 1930: Tornado. Kenedy and Runge in Karnes County; Nordheim, DeWitt County; 36 killed, 34 injured; damage $127,000.

June 30–July 2, 1932: Rainstorm. Torrential rains fell over the upper watersheds of the Nueces and Guadalupe rivers, causing destructive floods. Seven persons drowned; property losses exceeded $500,000.

Aug. 13, 1932: Hurricane. Near Freeport, Brazoria County. Wind speed at East Columbia estimated at 100 mph; 40 lives lost, 200 injured; damage $7.5 million.

March 30, 1933: Tornado. Angelina, Nacogdoches and San Augustine counties; 10 killed, 56 injured; damage $200,000.

April 26, 1933: Tornado. Bowie County near Texarkana. Five killed, 38 injured; damage $14,000.

April 29, 1933: Dust storm. Panhandle, South Plains. The dust storm extended from Sweetwater north to Central Kansas and from Albuquerque, N.M., to Oklahoma. Newspaper accounts described it as the worst sandstorm in years; “as dark as any night” in Perryton. Thousands of acres of small grain crops were blown from the soil.

July 22–25, 1933: Tropical Storm. One of the greatest U.S. storms in area and general rainfall. The storm reached the vicinity of Freeport late on July 22 and moved very slowly overland across eastern Texas, July 22-25. The storm center moved into northern Louisiana on the 25th. Rainfall averaged 12.50 inches over an area of about 25,000 square miles. Twenty inches or more fell in a small area of eastern Texas and western Louisiana surrounding Logansport, La. The 4-day total at Logansport was 22.30 inches. Property damage was estimated at $1.12 million.

July 30, 1933: Tornado. Oak Cliff section of Dallas, Dallas County. Five killed, 30 injured; damage $500,000.

Sept. 4–5, 1933: Hurricane. Near Brownsville. Center passed inland a short distance north of Brownsville, where an extreme wind of 106 mph was measured before the anemometer blew away. Peak wind gusts were estimated at 120 to 125 mph. 40 known dead, 500 injured; damage $16,903,100. About 90 percent of the citrus crop in the Lower Rio Grande Valley was destroyed.

July 25, 1934: Hurricane. Near Seadrift, Calhoun County, 19 lives lost, many minor injuries; damage $4.5 million. About 85 percent of damage was in crops.

Jan.–March 1935: Dust storms. Amarillo. Seven times, the visibility in Amarillo declined to zero from dust storms. One of these complete blackouts lasted eleven hours. One of the storms raged for 3 1/2 days.

Sept. 15–18, 1936: Rainstorm. Excessive rains over the North Concho and Middle Concho rivers caused a sharp rise in the Concho River, which overflowed San Angelo. Much of the business district and 500 homes were flooded. Four persons drowned and property losses estimated at $5 million. Four-day storm rainfall at San Angelo measured 25.19 inches; 11.75 inches fell on the 15th.

June 10, 1938: Tornado. Clyde, Callahan County; 14 killed, 9 injured; damage $85,000.

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