On September 20, 1967, Hurricane Beulah became the third-largest hurricane of the twentieth century and the worst storm to hit Texas since Hurricane Carla in 1961. A “true Texas-sized” hurricane, the storm was approximately 650 miles in diameter with winds exceeding 130 mph. While high winds struck south Texas towns, the storm’s slow movement caused severe flooding in the Lower Rio Grande Valley as well as the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. Over 200,000 Texans and Mexican residents were displaced and at least 50 people were killed over the course of the storm. Beulah spawned 115 tornadoes across the state of Texas, more than any tropical cyclone at that time.
Over $1 billion in total damage was recorded, making Beulah the second-costliest hurricane since Hurricane Betsy hit Louisiana in 1965. President Lyndon B. Johnson surveyed the damage caused to his home state and declared 24 counties in Texas a disaster area. Many residents found themselves responsible for rebuilding their own homes, as tidal wave, high water, and overflow damage were not included in most homeowner insurance policies.