JUNE 2001


1st-9thThunderstorms soaked parts of the South and Midwest on Monday, while heavy rain hit the northern Plains after dumping wet, heavy snow in communities across the northern Rockies. Flood warnings were issued in southern Kentucky, where 1 to 2 inches of  rain fell. Heavy showers also hit the lower Mississippi Valley and portions of the Gulf Coast. A strong system near the Rockies brought winter-like conditions to northwest Montana and parts of Idaho. Residents made snowmen in Butte, MT, after nearly a foot of snow fell Sunday and early Monday.

Farther west, the same system brought heavy rain to drought-stricken parts of eastern Montana, as well as the western Dakotas and Minnesota.

Allison, the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, weakened and was downgraded to a tropical depression Wednesday after pouring down as much as a foot of rain that flooded streets and highways. Most of the storm's remaining rain had drifted into western and southern Louisiana, causing occasional street flooding in New Orleans. Flash flood watches were posted for parts of the state.

In Texas' Galveston and Harris counties, including Houston, rain fell at a rate of 2 to 3 inches per hour at the height of the storm on Tuesday. A reinforced coastline in southeast Texas held up, possibly saving from damage about 75 houses along the Gulf of Mexico, said Tesa Duffey, Galveston County Emergency Management Coordinator, as officials on Wednesday assessed damage from the storm. Tropical Storm Allison formed over the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday and

pushed across Galveston Island with 60 mph gusts, pounding the coast for several hours and spawning tornadoes that caused scattered damage. One tornado touched down near Manvel, uprooting trees and damaged a home, the National Weather Service said. As much as 11 inches of rain fell in Houston's southern suburbs, and a weather service employee recorded 12 inches of rain in about six hours at his home in the western Galveston County city of Santa Fe, said weather service meteorologist Dave Schwertz.

Rain from Tropical Storm Allison swamped coastal Louisiana and Texas for a fourth day Friday, leaving at least one person dead and streets and homes flooded across the region. Gov. Mike Foster declared a state of emergency in 11 parishes, where nearly 2 feet of rain had fallen since the storm swept ashore Tuesday. As remnants from the storm lingered Friday, heavy rain continued in Texas and western Louisiana, with up to 6 inches in east Texas. The Louisiana National Guard helped evacuate hundreds of residents along the Comite River north of Baton Rouge. The river spilled over its banks Friday and was expected to crest more than 10 feet above flood stage Friday night. About 16 inches of rain had been recorded in Erath and nearby Youngsville by Friday. Across the region, volunteers, prison inmates and parish workers filled sandbags. Rainfall of between 5 and 11 inches of rain soaked southern parts of the Houston area Thursday, damaging an estimated 1,500 homes and forcing about 150 people to evacuate. Five miles of Interstate 45 north of Houston were closed, with cars reported abandoned under windshield-deep water. Liberty County, northeast of Houston, received 3 to 7 inches of rain by midmorning Friday. More than 25 inches had fallen over the last week in Devers, a Liberty County town 40 miles east of Houston. Friday afternoon, the storm's center drifted near Brenham in southeast Texas, which remained under a flash flood watch. Two counties near Houston were under flash flood warnings. A watch means conditions are ripe for a Tropical Storm Allison formed over the Gulf of Mexico early in the week and pushed across Texas' Galveston Island with 60 mph gusts, pounding the coast for several hours and spawning tornadoes that caused scattered damage. It was downgraded to a tropical depression Wednesday. On Thursday, high winds toppled a tree onto a truck near Baton Rouge, killing the driver, police spokesman Ray Day said. Houston-area police were also investigating whether the death of a woman whose car rolled into a drainage ditch was weather-related.

Thousands of people were forced from their homes or stranded on flooded freeways Saturday as torrential rains from the remnants of Tropical Storm Allison swamped Houston and Southeast Texas. Two deaths were blamed on the storms and floods as highways were turned into lakes or swift-flowing rivers and neighborhoods were inundated. Bayous designed to handle runoff were out of their banks. President Bush on Saturday declared a 28-county disaster area, ordering federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts. Bush spent the weekend at his Crawford ranch, about 175 miles northwest of Houston. The effects of the storm extended beyond Texas. The flooding disrupted access to an estimated 76,000 automated teller machines in 22 states, said Julian Read, spokesman for PULSE, a nonprofit electronic funds transfer network of more than 2,600 banks.

Trappers in Louisiana's St. John the Baptist and St. Charles parishes captured 40 alligators during the week. ''I'll release them back into the swamps unless they are big and aggressive,'' said Richard Roussel IV, an alligator nuisance control officer for St. John Parish. Texas State Trooper Michael Smith arrived at I-10 as water started pouring into the freeway from surrounding Houston streets.


10th-16thA system left over from Tropical Storm Allison brought thunderstorms and continued flooding to parts of the Gulf Coast Monday. The storm was blamed for 18 deaths in Texas and Louisiana and thousands of people were forced to flee flooded homes. An apparent tornado struck Lucedale, Miss., injuring at least seven people, and another possible tornado damaged roofs in southern Alabama.

There were heavy, steady rains over southern Alabama, northwest Florida and southeast Mississippi. More than 51/2 inches of rain in Slidell, LA, where widespread street flooding was reported. Winds blew down trees and damaged roofs in parts of Mississippi.

A cold front brought severe storms to the central third of the nation Thursday, while the remnants of Tropical Storm Allison dumped heavy rain in the mid-Atlantic. Areas from Wisconsin to Iowa into Texas, the showers were severe at times with gusty winds and drenching rains. Eveleth, MN, recorded 2.30 inches of rain by midday, and flood watches were posted in Iowa and Wisconsin. Golfball-size hail hit parts of northern Missouri. In the mid-Atlantic, heavy rain circulated around a low pressure area that was once Tropical Storm Allison. The most intense rain fell in North Carolina, which had as much as 6 inches of rain over two days. Flash flood watches were posted for the eastern part of the state. Scattered clouds drifted into Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and across portions of the Ohio Valley.       


24th-30thA storm system over the central section of the nation produced showers and thunderstorms Friday. Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas had heavy rain with hail and strong winds at times. Nearly two inches of rain had fallen in Oklahoma by midday. Flash flood warnings were posted for the state and for northeastern Texas. Afternoon heating caused thunderstorms to develop in the Tennessee Valley  and Southeast. In Florida, a tropical wave dumped heavy rain in drought-plagued areas. Some places had three inches of rain since Thursday.