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Severe Weather in Texas: 1940s

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.

Sept. 23, 1941: Hurricane. Center moved inland near Matagorda, and passed over Houston about midnight. Extremely high tides along coast in the Matagorda to Galveston area. Heaviest property and crop losses were in counties from Matagorda County to the Sabine River. Four lives lost. Damage was $6.5 million.

April 28, 1942: Tornado. Crowell, Foard County; 11 killed, 250 injured; damage $1.5 million.

Aug. 30, 1942: Hurricane. Matagorda Bay. Highest wind estimated 115 mph at Seadrift. Tide at Matagorda,14.7 feet. Storm moved west-north-westward and finally diminished over the Edwards Plateau; eight lives lost, property damage estimated at $11.5 million, and crop damage estimated at $15 million.

May 10, 1943: Tornado. Laird Hill, Rusk County, and Kilgore, Gregg County. Four killed, 25 injured; damage $1 million.

July 27, 1943: Hurricane. Near Galveston. Center moved inland across Bolivar Peninsula and Trinity Bay. A wind gust of 104 mph was recorded at Texas City; 19 lives lost; damage estimated at $16.6 million.

Aug. 26–27, 1945: Hurricane. Aransas-San Antonio Bay area. At Port O’Connor, the wind reached 105 mph when the cups were torn from the anemometer. Peak gusts of 135 mph were estimated at Seadrift, Port O’Connor and Port Lavaca; three killed, 25 injured; damage $20.1 million.

Jan. 4, 1946: Tornado. Near Lufkin, Angelina County and Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches County; 13 killed, 250 injured; damage $2.1 million.

Jan. 4, 1946: Tornado. Near Palestine, Anderson County; 15 killed, 60 injured; damage $500,000.

May 18, 1946: Tornado. Clay, Montague and Denton counties. Four killed, damage $112,000.

April 9, 1947: Tornado. White Deer, Carson County; Glazier, Hemphill County; and Higgins, Lipscomb County; 68 killed, 201 injured; damage $1.55 million. Glazier completely destroyed. One of the largest tornadoes on record. Width of path, 1 mile at Higgins; length of path, 221 miles across portions of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. This tornado also struck Woodward, Okla.

May 3, 1948: Tornado. McKinney, Collin County; three killed, 43 injured; $2 million damage.

May 15, 1949: Tornado. Amarillo and vicinity; six killed, 83 injured. Total damage from tornado, wind and hail, $5.3 million. Total destruction over one-block by three-block area in southern part of city; airport and 45 airplanes damaged; 28 railroad boxcars blown off track.

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