Old storms named Allison, Ike and Rita may mean little to new Houstonians. However, each taught lessons worth learning.

In the Alley Theatre basement, there remains yellow stripe painted on a wall. It's the high water mark from Tropical Allison. Management shows it to patrons on tour because the storm changed how the theatre does business.

Sixteen years ago, TS Allison dumped about three feet of water in the Houston area, and 23 people died. The storm also destroyed tens of thousands of homes and cars.

Roads flooded and crippled the Texas Medical Center, and 28 counties declared disaster.

Water from Buffalo Bayou poured into downtown tunnels and through the Alley Theatre's lobby. The private performance venue saw its house stage, costume and props department damaged. They since moved most everything above their parking garage.

"We figure now we're safe because it has to go up 14 stories before we get wet again," said Dean Gladden the managing director for Alley Theatre.

Allison was just a tropical storm.

Back in 1961, Hurricane Carla, one of the strongest storms to ever hit Texas, chased half-million people from their homes.

Hurricane Ike's storm surge washed away much of Bolivar Peninsula. It's wind also shattered downtown Houston windows. Some people lost power for weeks.

Years later, just the threat of Hurricane Rita caused traffic jams.

So to see a tropical threat of any magnitude headed this way turns heads.

"We're feeling pretty secure because there's lots of safety measures that have been put in place," Gladden said