On this day in 2001, import enthusiasts across the city were preparing for what should have been a celebration of the import community. Mobil 1 had brought their World Import Challenge series to the great city of Houston. Across the city everyone was involved in a flurry of soap, water, clay bars, and wax. Some were buried in their tools and parts as this new series also included a drag race contest. The excitement was there and we were all looking forward to the weekends activities. As all of the cleaning and preparation for the event began something was stirring in the Gulf of Mexico. The first tropical anything of 2001’s hurricane season had made it’s way across the Atlantic and something finally came to life in the Gulf. Tropical Storm Allison was born June 5th, 2001 and she quickly made her way on shore that evening.
If you have been in Houston for more than a week you know that the low lying areas around town tend to retain a good bit of water. The issue of low level flooding quickly arose. The show itself was still a few days away so most (including myself) figured we would be in the clear for the show/race. So preparation continued and I tucked my car away in my parents garage to keep it clean. Then, like any good cat, Tropical Storm Allison made her way back the next day. The storm didn’t just return, it decided to stick around for awhile.
The ensuing chaos brought our great city to its knees. Bayous ran over their banks, the streets flooded, major sections of freeway were submerged underwater, and many people lost their lives. Allison flooded homes and cars all across the city of Houston and all across her path across the United States. Record rainfall amounts were recorded and the World Import Challenge was understandably cancelled and rescheduled for a weekend in March of 2002.
These next few pictures do not belong to me but they should tell the tale of what we saw on those days. The damage was done and all we could do is wait for the rebuild process to start.