Fire and rain: Remembering the October flood of 1994

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- In a city famous for floods, this was one of the worst at that time. It was October of 1994 when a series of meteorological events occurred to trigger a huge rain event which was responsible for at least 17 deaths and millions of dollars in damage.

Remnants of Hurricane Rosa in Mexico, moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and a low-pressure system over the southern Rocky Mountains triggered heavy rains and vigorous thunderstorms across parts of 38 counties.

From October 15 to 19, southeast Texas saw rainfall amounts ranging from 8 to 28 inches.

Flooding was most severe in the San Jacinto River Basin along the West and East Forks of the San Jacinto River. It was on the San Jacinto River, on October 20th, after rising waters ruptured a pipeline that the most horrific event of the flood happened.

ABC13's SkyEye was in the area just moments after the river erupted and shot this video
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San Jacinto River on fire, October, 1994

Gasoline from a 40-inch pipe ignited, sending flames racing down the river, setting fire to everything in its path. Houses, mobile homes and cars along the banks of the river exploded and caught fire.

FEMA declared 29 of 38 counties to be disaster areas and approved $54 million in disaster assistance.
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