Did last year seem like one weather-related catastrophe after another? If you felt that way, you’re not alone. It was a record-breaking year across the U.S., with fourteen extreme weather events that resulted in damage costs of $1 billion or more – altogether totaling about $45 billion. These disasters killed scores of people and included floods, fires, tornados, hurricanes and hail. Texas was the recipient of two of those fourteen.
The flooding was largely caused by the fact that 2019 was the 2nd wettest year ever recorded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Scientists there stated that precipitation in the contiguous U.S. was almost 15% higher than the long-term average, ranking only behind 1973. Ironically, by the end of December there was drought across 11% of the contiguous U.S.
The two Texas events were remarkable for their strength as well as their scope. Spring typically brings violent storms, and the one that struck DFW on March 24 vented most of its fury on Collin County. The greatest damage took place in the northeast suburbs of McKinney, Frisco and Plano. Hail as large as golf balls and even baseballs damaged vehicles, homes and businesses, in some cases in such volume that it appeared to be a snowy landscape.
Then on October 20, North Texas was torn apart by 10 different tornados over the span of a few hours. They included an EF-3 estimated to have wind speeds up to 140 mph, which stayed on the ground for 15 terrifying miles across Richardson and northwest Dallas. Over one hundred buildings were destroyed, including several DISD campuses that will take years to rebuild. Surprisingly, no serious injuries were reported.
You can’t prevent Texas weather, but you can prepare for it. Don’t wait til the last minute!
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