Hurricane Laura caused a Texas river to flow backward for hours

Shortly after the powerful winds of Hurricane Laura made landfall on the Texas Coast last week, the flow of the Neches River slowed and slowed and then reversed entirely.

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September 1, 2020 - 10:31 AM

A car submerged in a flood on Pier Rd after Hurricane Laura hit the area overnight in Orange on Thursday, August 27, 2020. After Hurricane Laura made landfall on the Texas Coast last week, the flow of the Neches River slowed and then reversed entirely. (Lola Gomez/Austin American-Statemen/TNS)

AUSTIN, Texas — Shortly after the powerful winds of Hurricane Laura made landfall on the Texas Coast last week, the flow of the Neches River slowed and slowed and then reversed entirely.

Although it might sound slightly mythical, last week wasn’t the first time a river’s been known to reverse course. It wasn’t even the first time the Neches River specifically has been recorded doing so.

The river, which flows more than 400 miles south through Texas before emptying into the Gulf of Mexico, flowed backward in what the U.S. Geological Survey called a “far more dramatic” fashion during Hurricane Ike in 2008.

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