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Severe Weather in Texas: 2005

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.

March 25, 2005: Hail. Austin. In the evening of March 25, the most destructive hailstorm in 10 years struck the greater Austin area. The storm knocked out power to 5,000 homes in northwest Austin. Hail of 2 inches in diameter was reported near the Travis County Exposition Center. Total damage was estimated at $100 million.

May 2005–December 2006: Drought. In May, portions of North Central Texas were upgraded from moderate to severe drought. By the end of the May, the drought had made significant agricultural and hydrological impacts on the region. In November, many Central Texas counties were added to the drought. The Texas Cooperative Extension estimated statewide drought losses at $4.1 billion, $1.9 billion in North Texas alone.

June 9, 2005: Tornado. Petersburg. An F-3 tornado affected the Petersburg area in southeast Hale County across to portions of southwest and south-central Floyd County. Total damage was estimated at $70 million.

Sept. 23, 2005: Hurricane Rita. Southeast Texas. The eye of Hurricane Rita moved ashore in extreme southwest Louisiana between Sabine Pass and Johnson’s Bayou in Cameron Parish with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph, category-3 strength. On Sept. 22, Rita had strengthened to a peak intensity of 175 mph winds. In Southeast Texas, Rita resulted in 3 fatalities, 3 injuries, and $159.5 million in property and crop damage. Property damage was estimated at $2.1 billion.

Dec. 27, 2005: Wildfire. Cross Plains. A wildfire in Callahan County caused $11 million in property damages. The fire started just west of Cross Plains and quickly moved east, fanned by winds gusting near 40 mph. The fire moved into Cross Plains quickly and two elderly people were unable to escape the flames; 16 firefighters were also injured while fighting this fire.

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