Hurricane #11, 1933

An interesting hurricane during a very active year. This hurricane hit near Brownsville on September 5, causing 1.75 million dollars of damage to the city. Winds were estimated around 125 mph, with 40 dead and 500 injured.

The interesting part comes in to what occurred before the hurricane. This storm was tracked well by the Weather Bureau and was thought to be the strongest hurricane to threaten the Texas Coast this century. With warnings well in advance, Corpus Christi decided to assume the worst as the hurricane approached. The city, still smarting from the Hurricane of 1919, decided to declare Martial Law, have all residents in low lying areas evacuate, and provide shelter for all citizens who wanted to flee their homes.

All of this occurred in Corpus during Labor Day weekend, a large tourist draw weekend. Tourists fled fearing the worst. Businesses closed down during a time when they would otherwise expect large income.

The storm turned south, missing Corpus and causing only moderate damage. Boats suffered damage as did the piers in the area. The business district had 3' of water, and the causeway connecting Padre Island with the mainland was destroyed. Cuts up to a mile wide were made in the island as waters escaped to the Gulf.

Many businessmen, expecting worse, were now angry over the loss of business this early warning had caused. Letters demanding the Meteorologist-In-Charge in Corpus Christi were sent to Washington.

The outcry was quickly squelched by the Weather Bureau Headquarters and other member of the public. The letter stated the MIC had performed his duties well and conducted an evacuation which saved lives. Several patitions by the public praising the performance of the MIC were sent to Washington. The MIC remained as head of the Corpus Christi office until 1946.

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Tropical Page / National Weather Service Corpus Christi, Texas / Revised February 2000
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