Last updated July 2, 2001
In June 2001, tropical storm Allison stalled over southeast Texas and dumped massive quantities of rain on the Houston area. Some areas received over 30 inches of rain over a 2-3 day period. The result: one of the greatest flood events in Houston history.
Some of the most impressive images were of the depressed (trenched) freeways around Houston. Since Houston is just about as flat as a billiard table, water must be pumped out of the depressed freeways. There was no hope of keeping Houston’s depressed freeways dry in June 2001.
IH-45 North of Downtown
Photo credited to Michael Masciopinto
Photo credited to Linda Lawson
IH-10 West of Downtown
Photo from the Time Magazine web site, credited to Associated Press.
Photo credited to Robert Cowart
An asphalt section of IH-10 did not survive the flood. Emergency re-paving was performed.
US 59 Southwest Freeway, Southwest of Downtown
Photo credited to Dave Rossman. This is the trench from Hazard to Mandell, currently under construction.
Photos credited to Robert Cowart. This is the trench from Hazard to Mandell, currently under construction. The contractor, Williams Brothers, reportedly suffered heavy equipment loss.
Photo contributed by Don Seributra. Another view of the flooded trench.
Photo credited Jonathan Miller. This is the US59/TX288 merge just south of IH-45.
288 South Freeway
The South Freeway has historically been one of Houston’s most flood-prone freeways. It has a very low crossing over Brays Bayou, and water would backup into the freeway trench and flood the trench. Anti-backup gates were installed years ago, but they can’t help when Brays Bayou is actually overflowing the freeway.
Photo credited to Jonathan Miller. This view looks north from IH-610.
IH-610 East Loop
The receding water on the East Loop revealed a big mess of vehicles.
Memorial Drive West of Downtown
Photo credited to Nile Copeland.
Photo contributed by Don Seributra. This photo shows Buffalo Bayou back within its banks just west of downtown Houston.