The 47th anniversary of Hurricane Celia

It was 47 years ago on this very day when Corpus Christi was struck by one of the largest hurricanes in South Texas' history.

CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - It was 47 years ago on this very day when Corpus Christi was struck by one of the largest hurricanes in South Texas' history.

Hurricane Celia killed 28 people and left behind more than $900 million in damage.

Celia has always been considered a Cat-3 storm. However, based on reanalysis methods used today, it looks like Celia was actually a Cat-4 at landfall.

Sustained winds when it hit are now estimated at 138 mph with gusts up to 180 mph -- still the highest ever recorded in Texas.

The landfall point was very close to Port Aransas, near the north jetty.

Storm surge flooding wasn't that bad, and there wasn't really heavy rainfall because Celia was relatively small and fast moving; but wind damage was extreme.

Woolco in Parkdale Plaza looked like it was blown up from the inside. In Corpus Christi, close to 90-percent of businesses and 70-percent of homes were damaged, and in Aransas Pass, half of everything was severely damaged.

Celia was a true "wind damage storm," and one of the rare major hurricanes to hit right in the middle of a major American city.

At the time, Celia was the costliest hurricane in Texas history, and it remained so until Alicia in 1983.

© 2017 KIII-TV


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