Storm Events Database
|Begin Date||07/23/2008 20:45:00 CST-6|
|End Date||07/24/2008 04:00:00 CST-6|
|Deaths Direct/Indirect||0/0 (fatality details below, when available...)|
|Episode Narrative||Hurricane Dolly, the first storm since Bret (1999) to make landfall along the Deep South Texas barrier islands, left a trail of widespread minor to moderate structural and natural damage across much of the Lower Rio Grande Valley and Deep South Texas on July 23rd, and dumped copious rainfall across the area, causing numerous instances of flooding primarily of low lying and poor drainage locations, as well as filling local resacas and arroyos, and causing notable rises on larger area creeks and rivers. Dolly intensified rapidly to an estimated minimum pressure of 962 mb while drifting northward just east of South Padre Island, and its center made landfall between 1 and 2 PM on July 23rd along the unpopulated shoreline of Cameron and Willacy County. Dolly then eased westward across southern Willacy County through the afternoon, continued into extreme northern Hidalgo County as a tropical storm during the evening, then turned northwest and accelerated through Jim Hogg County during the early morning hours of the 24th, passing into Webb County shortly after sunrise.
The strong winds and heavy rains contributed to widespread power outages in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, where at least 236,000 customers lost power, but possibly upwards of 250,000 - primarily across the more populated regions of Cameron, Hidalgo, and Willacy County. Agricultural experts deemed a substantial loss of cotton and sorghum due to the strong winds and torrential rain. As of early October, estimated insured property damage (wind) based on the standard doubling of publicly insured payouts was $560 million. Reported insured flood damage from FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program is $171 thousand; however, it is estimated that the vast majority of flood damage occurred to uninsured properties, and a rough estimate of total flood damage, which was more widespread, and includes agricultural losses, will likely push total flood-related damages to between $100 and $300 million. Best estimate totals for all of Deep South Texas and the Lower Rio Grande Valley are likely in the ball park of $1 billion, if not more.
More than 6,000 Lower Rio Grande Valley residents were housed in temporary shelters from Deep South Texas to San Antonio at the peak of the storm; 13,000 residents across the Lower Rio Grande Valley visited FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers after the storm. As of October 3rd, FEMA had distributed $44 million in relief; $30 million to individual households, nearly $10 million to small businesses through the Small Business Administration, and just under $5 million to local governments for infrastructure repair.
Please note that best estimates will be included on a county by county basis as data is received through the rest of the year.
Storm total rainfall from the evening of July 22nd through the early afternoon of July 24th generally ranged from 4 to 10 inches in Kenedy, Brooks, Starr, Jim Hogg, and Zapata Counties, and 6 to 14 inches in Hidalgo, Willacy, and Cameron Counties, with locally more than 18 inches possible in the persistent southern eyewall in northern Cameron and southern Willacy Counties. Widespread freshwater flooding occurred in these areas as Dolly moved through, and low lying, poor drainage, or areas where drainage systems failed were flooded for days, and in some cases weeks, to come.
The late intensification of Dolly just prior to landfall, combined with a brief northward jog before turning to the west along the Cameron/Willacy County line, limited Gulf storm surge effects across the Town of South Padre Island through mid morning on the 23rd. However, hurricane force west winds whipped an estimated 3 to 4 foot water rise from Laguna Madre across the Town, with water briefly stretching across the Island at the height of the event. The town of Port Mansfield, immediately north of the center, estimated a 4 foot storm surge and 5 foot storm tide.
Interestingly, tides to the north of Dolly's center initially fell to below predicted values on increasing northerly winds, before rising during the late afternoon and evening as the cyclone moved inland, and strong southerly flow piled a storm tide of up to 6 feet above Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW) along the uninhabited Kenedy County shoreline.
There was a single confirmed tornado in Cameron County during the late evening of July 22nd, associated with one of the first outer rain bands. No damage was reported.
|Event Narrative||Impacts from Dolly in Brooks County were relatively minor, as was common for locations that were initially in the northern and eastern eyewall, which was significantly lower in intensity than the southern and western eyewall from which most of the damaging winds and flooding rains were produced. However, a period of sustained tropical storm force winds likely affected a good portion of the county as the collapsing center moved into extreme northern Hidalgo County, eventually straddling the Brooks/Hidalgo County line before moving through Jim Hogg County during the early morning hours of July 24th.
Winds likely increased to 35 to 45 mph sustained, with gusts likely between 50 and 60 mph, across the southern half of the county beginning around 1045 PM CDT and continuing through the pre dawn hours of the 24th, before conditions began quieting down from southeast to northwest. A peak wind gust of 45 knots, or 51 mph, was recorded at 1:45 AM on the 24th at the Brooks County Airport just south of Falfurrias. There were an unknown number of power outages across the county, as well as some minor damage, most likely to tree limbs, power lines, and poorly built structures.
All events for this episode:
|COASTAL CAMERON (ZONE)||COASTAL CAMERON (ZONE)||TX||07/23/2008||04:30||CST-6||Storm Surge/Tide||0||0||0.00K||0.00K|
|CAMERON (ZONE)||CAMERON (ZONE)||TX||07/23/2008||07:25||CST-6||Tropical Storm||0||0||224.000M||0.00K|
|KENEDY (ZONE)||KENEDY (ZONE)||TX||07/23/2008||08:00||CST-6||Tropical Storm||0||0||0.00K||0.00K|
|WILLACY (ZONE)||WILLACY (ZONE)||TX||07/23/2008||09:00||CST-6||Tropical Storm||0||0||28.000M||0.00K|
|COASTAL CAMERON (ZONE)||COASTAL CAMERON (ZONE)||TX||07/23/2008||10:00||CST-6||Hurricane (Typhoon)||0||2||196.000M||0.00K|
|PORT ISABEL||CAMERON CO.||TX||07/23/2008||10:45||CST-6||Flash Flood||0||0||42.75K||37.500M|
|COASTAL WILLACY (ZONE)||COASTAL WILLACY (ZONE)||TX||07/23/2008||11:00||CST-6||Hurricane (Typhoon)||0||2||11.000M||0.00K|
|COASTAL CAMERON (ZONE)||COASTAL CAMERON (ZONE)||TX||07/23/2008||11:00||CST-6||Storm Surge/Tide||0||0||5.000M||0.00K|
|COASTAL WILLACY (ZONE)||COASTAL WILLACY (ZONE)||TX||07/23/2008||12:24||CST-6||Storm Surge/Tide||0||0||200.00K||0.00K|
|SEBASTIAN||WILLACY CO.||TX||07/23/2008||12:45||CST-6||Flash Flood||0||0||14.25K||50.000M|
|COASTAL WILLACY (ZONE)||COASTAL WILLACY (ZONE)||TX||07/23/2008||13:00||CST-6||Tropical Storm||0||0||0.00K||0.00K|
|COASTAL CAMERON (ZONE)||COASTAL CAMERON (ZONE)||TX||07/23/2008||13:00||CST-6||Tropical Storm||0||0||0.00K||0.00K|
|HIDALGO (ZONE)||HIDALGO (ZONE)||TX||07/23/2008||13:45||CST-6||Tropical Storm||0||0||101.000M||0.00K|
|EDCOUCH||HIDALGO CO.||TX||07/23/2008||16:00||CST-6||Flash Flood||0||0||28.50K||10.000M|
|STARR (ZONE)||STARR (ZONE)||TX||07/23/2008||19:30||CST-6||Tropical Storm||0||0||0.00K||0.00K|
|BROOKS (ZONE)||BROOKS (ZONE)||TX||07/23/2008||20:45||CST-6||Tropical Storm||0||0||0.00K||0.00K|
|JIM HOGG (ZONE)||JIM HOGG (ZONE)||TX||07/23/2008||21:30||CST-6||Tropical Storm||0||0||0.00K||0.00K|
|KENEDY (ZONE)||KENEDY (ZONE)||TX||07/23/2008||23:18||CST-6||Storm Surge/Tide||0||0||0.00K||0.00K|
|PORT ISABEL||CAMERON CO.||TX||07/24/2008||04:01||CST-6||Flood||0||0||42.75K||37.500M|
|LA GLORIA||STARR CO.||TX||07/24/2008||06:30||CST-6||Flash Flood||0||0||10.00K||50.000M|