Port Arthur, Texas
|City of Port Arthur|
|— City —|
|Nickname(s): PA, PAT|
|• City Council||Mayor Deloris "Bobbie" Prince
Jack Chatman, Jr.
Elizabeth "Liz" Segler
Morris Albright III
John Beard, Jr.
Robert E. Williamson
D. Kay Wise
|• City Manager||Stephen Fitzgibbons|
|• Total||143.8 sq mi (372.3 km2)|
|• Land||82.9 sq mi (214.8 km2)|
|• Water||60.8 sq mi (157.6 km2)|
|Elevation||7 ft (2 m)|
|• Density||696.5/sq mi (268.9/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||1384151|
Geography and history 
Aurora was located near the mouth of Taylor Bayou on Sabine Lake, at the site of present-day Port Arthur. The town was conceived as early as 1837, and by 1840 promoters led by Almanzon Huston were advertising town lots. Although some lots were sold, Houston's project failed to materialize. The area came to be known as Sparks after John Sparks and his family moved to the shores of Sabine Lake near the Aurora townsite. The Eastern Texas Railroad, completed between Sabine Pass and Beaumont just before the outbreak of the Civil War, passed about four miles west of Sparks. The railroad passing track at this point was named Aurora after the Houston project. The rails were removed during the Civil War. A few scattered settlers remained until 1886, when a destructive hurricane led residents to dismantle their homes and move to Beaumont. By 1895 Aurora was a ghost town. The abandoned community, however, soon became the site of Arthur E. Stilwell's new city, Port Arthur.
Port Arthur's Museum of the Gulf Coast is recognized as the area's definitive collection of items and displays for personalities from Port Arthur and the surrounding communities. Notable residents of Port Arthur include singer Janis Joplin, golfer/track star Babe Zaharias, casting director/producer Whitney Valcin, artist Robert Rauschenberg, and former Dallas Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson. Other professional athletes include Stephen Jackson of the San Antonio Spurs, Kendrick Perkins of the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Jamaal Charles of the Kansas City Chiefs. In the last two decades, Port Arthur's profile has risen on the hip-hop scene with the emergence of rap duo UGK. Both members, Bun B and the late Pimp C, are from Port Arthur and often refer to their hometown in their songs.
The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway runs past the city, separated from Sabine Lake by Pleasure Island. The 18.5-mile (29.8 km) man-made island was created from dredged material from 1899 and 1908 Corps of Engineers projects.
Port Arthur is located at . According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 143.8 square miles (372.3 km²), of which, 82.9 square miles (214.8 km²) of it is land and 60.8 square miles (157.6 km²) of it (42.32%) is water.(29.884864, -93.939902)
|Climate data for Port Arthur, Texas (Jack Brooks Airport)|
|Record high °F (°C)||86
|Average high °F (°C)||62.1
|Average low °F (°C)||43.4
|Record low °F (°C)||11
|Precipitation inches (mm)||5.25
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||9.5||8.7||7.4||6.2||6.6||10.0||11.4||11.1||8.9||7.5||8.1||9.5||104.9|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||136.4||169.5||189.1||204.0||263.5||285.0||282.1||257.3||231.0||241.8||186.0||148.8||2,594.5|
|Source: NOAA (1981−2010)  HKO (sun only, 1961−1990)  The Weather Channel (record temperatures) |
As of the 2000 census, there were 57,755 people, 21,839 households, and 14,675 families residing in the city. The population density was 696.5 people per square mile (268.9/km²). There were 24,713 housing units at an average density of 298.0 per square mile (115.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 43.70% African American, 39.01% White, 0.45% Native American, 5.89% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 8.88% from other races, and 2.06% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 17.45% of the population.
There were 21,839 households out of which 33.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.6% were married couples living together, 19.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.8% were non-families. 29.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.25.
In the city the population had 28.7% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 26.2% from 25 to 44, 19.9% from 45 to 64, and 15.5% who were years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 91.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.8 males. The median income for a household in the city was $26,455, and the median income for a family was $32,143. Males had a median income of $30,915 versus $21,063 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,183. About 22.9% of families and 25.2% of the population were below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 35.2% were under age 18 and 14.4% were age 65 or over.
Communities in Port Arthur include:
Government and infrastructure 
The Mayor of Port Arthur is Deloris "Bobbie" Prince.
The county operates the Port Arthur Sub-Courthouse in Port Arthur.
Primary and secondary schools 
Most of the City of Port Arthur is served by the Port Arthur Independent School District. The portion around Southeast Texas Regional Airport is served by the Nederland Independent School District. The Sabine Pass community is served by the Sabine Pass Independent School District.
Lamar State College–Port Arthur, located in downtown Port Arthur; celebrated its 100th birthday in 2009. Offering a full variety of basic core curriculum classes that are transferrable throughout Texas public universities, Lamar State College is recognized for associate programs in Commercial Music, Nursing, Legal Assistant and Process technology. Lamar State College also fields competitive teams in Men's Basketball and Women's Softball. The section of Port Arthur within the Sabine Pass School District is assigned to Galveston College in Galveston.
Public libraries 
Local bus service is provided by Port Arthur Transit.
After decades of stagnation and neglect in the area economy, Port Arthur is in the early stages of an economic boom. Several large projects involving the energy infrastructure are underway or proposed, the two largest being the Golden Pass and Sabine Pass LNG terminals. These separate projects under construction in neighboring Sabine Pass have brought cumulative initial investments of $2 billion, and will employ thousands at peak construction.
Home to a large portion of United States refining capacity, Port Arthur is now seeing renewed investment in several key installations. Motiva Enterprises is undertaking a major addition to its western Port Arthur refinery, expanding capacity to 600,000 barrels per day (95,000 m3/d). This $10.0 billion project is the largest US refinery expansion to occur in 30 years. Premcor Refining (now Valero) recently[when?] completed a $775 million expansion of its petrochemical plant, and BASF/Fina commenced operations of a new $1.75 billion gasification and cogeneration unit on premises of its current installation, which had just completed its own $1 billion upgrade. These operations are supported by the Port of Port Arthur, one of Texas' leading seaports. However, during and at the finalization of these multibillion dollar projects, Port Arthur still suffers from one of the highest unemployment rates in the state.
Central business district disintegration 
||This section needs additional citations for verification. (September 2010)|
Long past its heyday in the early 1900s, successive waves of economic recession have delivered a nearly vacant, boarded up, and sometimes dangerous central business district. The Hotel Sabine, the tallest building in Port Arthur, was abandoned and purchased by the city. An attempt to sell the building failed in 2005, with no interested buyers. Hurricane Rita struck a direct hit on the Proctor Street Seawall, and damaged many downtown businesses and homes. As economic activity picks up in the region, calls for downtown revitalization have been advanced. The true center of commercial activity has gravitated towards the junction of US 69 and Texas State Highway 365, with larger white-collar businesses moving to downtown Beaumont. As of 2008, the last downtown banking establishment, Capital One will relocate to Texas 365, which coincides with the closing of the last pharmacy, Walgreens, and the last grocery store, Lucky 7. Several municipal and county offices have moved in to fill the void.
Air pollution 
Port Arthur also has a significant air pollution problem that some believe has an impact on the health of its residents. There are 4 large industrial complexes in the southern part of the city. These factories can have upsets, incidents where a dangerous situation at the plant necessitates the release of thousands of pounds of air toxins, often volatile organic compounds or nitrogen oxides, the two major contributors to ground-level ozone. The chemicals are run through flares that incinerate almost all of the substance through combustion, but may still infrequently emit dangerous amounts. Any such releases are reported to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and are typically reported to the media through Sabine-Neches Fire Chiefs or the Jefferson County Local Emergency Planning Committee. The high incidences of asthma and cancer among residents in western Port Arthur is often attributed to the frequency and magnitude of the upsets, but could also be attributed to low general health often observed in poor areas.
Tropical cyclones that affected Port Arthur 
Hurricane Betsy 
In August 1965's Hurricane Betsy, Port Arthur sustained very little damage. The city was in one of the weak spots of the hurricane. Winds only reached 26 mph (42 km/h). Tides reached 2.4 feet (0.73 m) above sea level. A mere 0.02 inch (0.51 mm) of rain was recorded. Port Arthur was the only area in Texas to be damaged.
Hurricane Rita 
In September 2005's Hurricane Rita, Port Arthur sustained major wind damage and some flooding.
Hurricane Humberto 
Struck in the early hours of September 13, 2007. It formed in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico and intensified faster than any other tropical cyclone on record before making landfall at High Island, Texas. The path of the eye continued northeastward and passed over Port Arthur, Nederland, Port Neches, Groves, and Bridge City, Texas at Category 1 hurricane strength. This was the second time within two years (following Hurricane Rita on September 24, 2005) that these cities experienced a direct hit from a hurricane. Hurricane Hunters reported sustained winds of 85 mph (140 km/h) about two hours after landfall. However, post-storm analysis later determined that the winds were a bit stronger—about 90 mph (150 km/h).
Tropical Storm Edouard 
On the morning of August 5, 2008, Port Arthur saw the effects of Tropical Storm Edouard. The tropical storm made landfall to the west of the city, and wind speeds of 55 mph (89 km/h) were recorded.
Hurricane Ike 
In September 2008, Port Arthur again sustained major wind damage, with several areas experiencing major flooding. Ike made its final landfall near Galveston, Texas as a strong Category 2 hurricane, with Category 4 equivalent storm surge, on Sept. 13, 2008, at 2:10 a.m. CDT. Hurricane-force winds extended 120 miles (193 km) from the center. Due to its immense size, Ike caused devastation from the Louisiana coastline all the way to the Kennedy County, Texas region near Corpus Christi, Texas. The hurricane also resulted in the largest evacuation of Texans in that state's history. It became the largest search-and-rescue operation in U.S. history. The seawall of Port Arthur protected the city from the storm surge that devastated surrounding communities such as Bridge City, but water did overtop the seawall for about 30 minutes, flooding some of homes along its length with over a foot of water.
Notable residents (past and present) 
- Jonathan Babineaux
- Jordan Babineaux
- G. W. Bailey
- Zachary Breaux
- Ted Dunbar
- Jamaal Charles (NFL Player)
- C.J. Chenier
- Mitch Gaspard (TJ Graduate, LSU Baseball)
- Danny Gorrer
- Stephen Jackson (NBA Player)
- Jimmy Johnson (American football coach)
- Janis Joplin (Singer)
- Babe Didrikson Zaharias (Athlete)
- Lee Hazelwood
- Donald Narcisse (Canadian Football Hall of Famer)
- Robert Rauschenberg
- Ken Webster (actor and Director)
- UGK (Chad Butler and Bernard Freeman)
- Lucian Adams
- Joe Washington (NFL Player)
- Bobby Leopold
- Kevin Everett
- James Johnson (NFL Player)
- B.J. Tyler (NBA player)
- Kree Harrison - The runner-up of the 12th season of American Idol
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- The Economy of Southeast Texas Home Page
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- Port Arthur,Texas Hurricanes
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Port Arthur, Texas|
- City of Port Arthur, Texas
- Historic Article on Port Arthur (WWII)
- Lots of historical Port Arthur photos
- Port Arthur, TX at City-Data.com