By the end of the s, Texas City's population had grown to 5, Seatrain Lines constructed a terminal at the Texas City port during — This was a specialized company that owned ships designed to carry railroad cars from Texas City to New York City on a weekly schedule. Texas City is home to the Texas City Dike , a man-made breakwater built of tumbled granite blocks in the s, that was originally designed to protect the lower Houston Ship Channel from silting.
Enemy submarines had almost completely stopped the shipment of petroleum products to friendly countries from the Middle East, South America, and Southeast Asia. Texas City refineries and chemical plants worked around the clock at full capacity to supply the war effort.
Realizing that all of the world's tin smelters could no longer supply the US demand, Jesse H. The government also funded construction of a petrochemical plant to make styrene monomer , a vital raw material for synthetic rubber. Monsanto Chemical Company contracted to operate the facility, which became the nucleus of an even larger petrochemical complex after the war. By , the local population had reached 16, The postwar prosperity was interrupted on the morning of April 16, , when the French ship Grandcamp , containing ammonium nitrate fertilizer, exploded, initiating what is generally regarded as the worst industrial accident in US history, the Texas City disaster.
The fertilizer manufactured in Nebraska and Iowa was already overheating when stored at the Texas City docks. The blast devastated the Monsanto plant and offices, which were immediately across the slip from the Grandcamp , blew away the warehouses, showered shrapnel from the ship in all directions, and ignited a second ship, the S. High Flyer , docked at an adjacent slip. Keene , docked across the slip. Both ships also carried ammonium nitrate fertilizer and were ablaze. They, too, exploded. In all, the explosions killed and injured over 5, 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.
The steel-reinforced concrete grain elevator was pockmarked with shrapnel and the drive shaft of the Grandcamp was embedded in the headhouse.
The ship's anchor was hurled several miles away, where it was discovered embedded in the ground at the PanAmerican refinery. School children and townspeople who were attracted to the smoke also died, and entire blocks of homes near the port were destroyed. 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 petrochemical 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 September 13, On March 23, , the city suffered another explosion in a local BP formerly Amoco oil refinery which killed 15 and injured over 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.
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, September 14, , 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.
Texas City Refinery explosion - Wikipedia
Also, by the morning of Monday, September 15, the American Red Cross had opened a relief and materiel distribution center in the city. The Texas City Dike was overtopped by a greater than foot 3. Although all buildings, piers, and the Dike Road were destroyed, the dike itself weathered the storm. The dike was closed for three years while the road and supporting facilities were rebuilt.
It was reopened to traffic in September According to the United States Census Bureau , the city has a total area of Officially, the elevation of Texas City is 10 feet above sea level, though some areas are even lower. It was naturally vulnerable to flooding by hurricane storm surges and heavy rainstorms.
The land south and west of the city is flat coastal plain. A large part of this area to the south is marshland. The lake drains into Galveston Bay, which bounds the city on the east. As of the census  of , 41, people, 15, households, and 10, families resided in the city. The population density was The 16, housing units averaged The racial makeup of the city was Hispanics or Latinos of any race were Of the 15, households, About The average household size was 2.
In the city, the population was distributed as The median age was 36 years. For every females, there were For every females age 18 and over, there were The Texas City economy has long been based on heavy industry , particularly shipping at the Port of Texas City, as well as petroleum and petrochemical refining.
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Within this complex, the Galveston Bay Refinery operated by Marathon is the second-largest petroleum refinery in Texas and third-largest in the United States. Outdated practices for the disposal of toxic waste have continued there for years. The Texas City Terminal Railway Company provides an important land link to the port, handling over 25, carloads per year. The Port of Texas City's success as a privately owned port has been aided by its shareholders, the Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroads, whose connections allow for expeditious interchange of their traffic.
In , the city government replaced civilian code-enforcement officers with police officers after finding that residents tended to ignore civilian officials, who must go through a lengthy process to force compliance, said George Fuller, city director of community development. Other portions are a part of the Dickinson Independent School District. The Texas City Civic Club operated the library in the room.
In , city hall received damage from an explosion; it was later demolished. In , the library moved to a former house at 5th Street and 9th Avenue North and received its current name; it was named after Hugh Benton Moore and Helen Moore. In , the library moved into its current building. Penney Co.
It is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 — 4.
The Texas City Prairie Preserve is a 2,acre 9. The terrain of the preserve includes prairie and wetland habitats. The preserve includes 40 acres 0. The remainder of the preserve is available for tours, including boardwalk access through the marshes. The Bay Street Park is a acre 0. Part of the park commemorates the Aero Squadron, one of the first U.
Army air squadrons and a precursor to the modern Air Force. The rest of the park features wilderness trails and family entertainment areas. Nessler Park is a acre 0. The centerpiece of Texas City's Heritage Square historical district is the former residence of one of the city's fathers, Frank B. Davison , located at 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 Museum with the help of the Texas City Historical Association, is a Victorian-styled home finished in , and the site where the first child was born in the new community of Texas City. Texas Loop combines with Highway to form a ring around the city, providing access to the city's major areas.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For unincorporated community in Illinois, see Texas City, Illinois. City in Texas, United States. Location in Galveston County in the state of Texas. See also: History of the Galveston Bay Area. Main article: Texas City Disaster. Main article: Texas City Refinery explosion. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, United States Geological Survey. October 25, Census Bureau, American Factfinder.
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