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Episode 470

Hurricane Bret
Sat, 2018-Aug-18 00:45 UTC
Length - 3:51

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Saturday, 18 August 2018 is Hurricane Bret.

Hurricane Bret was the first of five Category 4 hurricanes that developed during the 1999 Atlantic hurricane season and the first tropical cyclone since Hurricane Jerry in 1989 to make landfall in Texas at hurricane intensity. Forming from a tropical wave on August 18, Bret slowly organized within weak steering currents in the Bay of Campeche. By August 20, the storm began to track northward and underwent rapid intensification on August 21. After this period of strengthening, Bret attained its peak intensity with winds of 145 mph (230 km/h) and a barometric pressure of 944 mbar (hPa; 27.88 inHg). Later that day, the storm weakened to a Category 3 hurricane and made landfall on Padre Island, Texas. Shortly thereafter, the storm weakened further, becoming a tropical depression 24 hours after moving inland. The remnants of the storm eventually dissipated early on August 26 over northern Mexico.

Along the Texas coastline, Bret threatened several cities, prompting 180,000 residents to evacuate. Numerous shelters were opened throughout the region and prisons were evacuated. Several days prior to the storm's arrival, the NHC issued hurricane watches, and later warnings for areas near the Texas–Mexico border. Several major roads leading to barrier island towns were shut down to prevent residents from crossing bridges during the hurricane. In nearby Mexico, roughly 7,000 people left coastal areas in advance of the storm. Officials also set up hundreds of shelters in northern regions of the country in case of major flooding.

Bret made landfall in a sparsely populated region, resulting in relatively little damage in comparison to its intensity. Nevertheless, seven people were killed in relation to the storm, four in Texas and three in Mexico. Most of the deaths were due to car accidents caused by slippery roads. Upon making landfall, the hurricane produced a maximum storm surge of 8.8 ft (2.7 m) at Matagorda Island, Texas. Heavy rains produced by Bret peaked at 13.18 in (335 mm) in Texas and were estimated over 14 in (360 mm) in Mexico. Numerous homes in the affected regions were damaged or destroyed, leaving roughly 150 people homeless. In all, the storm caused $15 million (1999 USD) in damage.

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