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Texas City, Texas

Texas City is a city in the U.S. state of Texas within the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area and Galveston County. The city's population was 45,099 at the 2010 census.

Located on the southwest shoreline of Galveston Bay, Texas City is a busy deepwater port on Texas' Gulf Coast.

By 1925, Texas City had an estimated population of 3,500 and was a thriving community with two refineries producing gasoline, the Texas City Sugar Refinery, two cotton compressing facilities, and even passenger bus service. Texas City refineries and chemical plants played a key role in supplying the war effort.

The post-war prosperity was postponed in April 1947, when two ships containing ammonium nitrate fertilizer exploded in what is generally regarded as the worst industrial accident in U.S. history, the Texas City Disaster. The fertilizer manufactured in Nebraska and Iowa was already overheating when stored at the Texas City docks. In all, the explosions killed 581 and injured over 5000 people. The explosions were so powerful and intense that many of the bodies of the emergency workers who responded to the initial explosion were never accounted for. School children and townspeople who were attracted to the smoke also died and entire blocks of homes near the port were destroyed. People in Galveston 14 miles away were knocked to their knees. Surrounding chemical and oil tanks and refineries were ignited by the blast. At least 63 who died and were not able to be identified are memorialized in a cemetery in the north part of town. The Texas City disaster is widely regarded as the foundation of disaster planning for the United States. Monsanto and other plants committed to rebuilding and the city ultimately recovered quite well from the accident. Numerous petro-chemical refineries are still located in the same port area of Texas City. The city has often referred to itself as "the town that would not die," a moniker whose accuracy would be tested once again in the days surrounding Hurricane Ike's assault on the region early on 13 September 2008.

The BP facility in Texas City is the United States's third largest oil refinery, employing over 2,000 people, processing 460,000 barrels (73,000 m³) of crude oil each day, and producing roughly 4% of the country's gasoline needs every day.

The centerpiece of Texas City's Heritage Square historical district is the former residence of one of city's fathers, Frank B. Davison, located 109 3rd Ave. N., just two-thirds of a mile west of the Texas City Dike's location. The Davison Home, maintained by the Texas City Historical Association, is a Victorian-styled home finished in 1897, and site where the first child was born in the new community of Texas City.

Texas City is home to the Texas City Dike, a man-made breakwater built of tumbled granite blocks more than seventy years earlier, that was originally designed to protect the lower Houston Ship Channel from silting. The dike, famous among locals as being "the world's longest man-made fishing pier," extends approximately five miles to the southeast and into the mouth of Galveston Bay. It was overtopped by a greater-than 12-foot (3.7 m) storm surge when Hurricane Ike barreled through the region in the early-morning hours of Saturday, 13 September 2008. Although all buildings, piers and the Dike Road were destroyed, the Dike itself weathered the storm.

Even in the widespread destruction throughout Galveston County caused by the wind and surge associated with Ike, Texas City was largely spared the devastation that other low-lying areas suffered. Texas City is mostly surrounded by a 17-mile (27 km) long levee system that was built in the early-1960's following the devastating floods during Hurricane Carla in 1961. Together with pump stations containing several Archimedes screws located at various places throughout the northeast periphery of the city adjoining Galveston, Dollar Bay, and Moses Lake, the levee and pump station system may well have saved the city from wholesale devastation at the hands of Ike's powerful tidal surge. Damage in the city was largely limited to that caused by Ike's powerful winds and heavy rains.

Beginning Sunday, 14 September 2008, the day after landfall, Texas City's high school football complex, "Stingaree Stadium," was used as a staging and relocation area for persons evacuated by National Guard Black Hawk helicopters from nearby bayfront communities such as the Bolivar Peninsula and Galveston Island. Also, by morning of Monday, 15 September, the American Red Cross had opened a relief and materiel distribution center in the city.

Geography

Texas City is located at 29°24'00?N 94°56'02?W (29.399983, -94.933851). This is 10 miles northwest of Galveston and 37 miles southeast of Houston.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 167.2 square miles, of which, 62.4 square miles of it is land and 104.9 square miles of it (62.70%) is water.

 
Texas City Dike
 
TexasCityTXMap
 
Read more at Wikipedia

 


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