On October 30, 1987, a crane at the Marathon Oil refinery accidentally dropped its load on a tank of liquid hydrogen fluoride, causing a release of 36,000 pounds of hydrogen fluoride gas and required 3,000 residents to be evacuated.
On March 23, 2005, the city suffered another explosion in a local BP (formerly Amoco) oil refinery which killed 15 and injured over 100. The BP facility in Texas City is the United States's third largest oil refinery, employing over 2,000 people and processing 460,000 barrels (73,000 m³) of crude oil each day.
The centerpiece of Texas City's Heritage Square historical district is the former residence of city founder Frank Davison, located on lower 3rd Ave. just two-thirds of a mile west of the Texas City Dike's location. The Davison Home, maintained by the Texas City Historical Association, may have suffered considerable damage as a result of Hurricane Ike's storm surge and 110-m.p.h. sustained winds at landfall.
Texas City was home to the Texas City Dike, a manmade breakwater built of tumbled granite blocks more than seventy years earlier, that was originally designed to protect the lower Houston Ship Channel from silting. The dike, famous among locals as "the world's longest manmade fishing pier," extended approximately five miles to the southeast and into the mouth of Galveston Bay. It was overtopped and destroyed by what was measured as a greater-than 11-foot storm surge swept into the Bay as Hurricane Ike barreled through the region in the early-morning hours of Saturday, September 13, 2008.
Even in destruction, the Texas City Dike, together with "hurricane pumps" located near the northeast periphery of the city adjoining Galveston and Dollar Bays, may well have saved the city from wholesale devastation at the hands of Ike's powerful tidal surge. For decades, the dike was considered Texas City's primary defense against a powerful tropical cyclone entering the lower Bay, as it was thought it would help deflect and contain floodwaters encroaching into the low-lying community. Indeed, although the dike was completely washed away, it appears to have helped preserve much of the city from the worst of Ike's fury; beginning Sunday, September 14, 2008, 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. Also, by morning of Monday, September 15, the American Red Cross had opened a relief and materiel distribution center in the city. Some filling stations, convenience stores and fast food restaurants were also preparing to open Monday.
Some Texas City neighborhoods appear to have suffered extensive flooding: San Leon; areas fronting Bay Street due west of the dike and closest to Galveston Bay, adjoining Tarpay Park, Anchor Park, and Bay Street Park; neighborhoods north of SH-197 / 25th Ave. N. at the south end of Moses Lake and Dollar Bay, including Amburn Park and LULAC Park; and properties along the water on the city's north and east sides. These neighborhoods encompass a broad range of Texas City's residents, from multimillion-dollar bayfront mansions to aging, ramshackle bungalows and small cottages, apartment buildings and federally subsidized senior citizens' housing, as well as many long-standing small business concerns. The Heights and Nadeau neighborhoods, more centrally located in Texas City and set back from the Bay, appear to have escaped significant water damage. Substantial wind damage was reported to some of the refinery and industrial facilities on the city's south side below FM 1765 / Texas Ave., especially those bordering Galveston Bay. As of Monday, September 15, 2008, preliminary surveys of Texas City's many refineries and chemical production complexes had yet to be completed, and plans to re-start normal oprations at these and other regional facilities had not yet been finalized.
Markedly increased prices, rationing and shortages of petroleum-based products, especially gasoline, have resulted throughout the Gulf Coast region in Ike's wake. Texas City, which is home to facilities representing a significant fraction of all domestic U.S. refining capacity, has not yet been able to resume fuel shipments, and it is not yet known how long normal distribution of refined products will be halted. As of Monday, September 15, 2008 there are reports of empty pumps and mile-long lines at filling stations as far north as Madisonville, Texas.
A helicopter survey of the city, conducted in the early evening hours of Sunday, September 14, 2008 and broadcast by KHOU-TV, the Houston metropolitan area's CBS affiliate, revealed continuing flooding in the neighborhoods listed above, a full day and a half after Ike had passed overhead. Many of the affected areas are considered historically significant neighborhoods of Texas City and contain many long-standing structures, not all of which were in good repair prior to the storm.
Texas City's port is currently the 8th largest port in the United States.
In the 2000s, rising real estate costs in Galveston forced many families to move to other areas, including Texas City. This meant an influx of children out of Galveston ISD and into other school districts like Dickinson ISD
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 167.2 square miles (433.1 km²), of which, 62.4 square miles (161.5 km²) of it is land and 104.9 square miles (271.6 km²) of it (62.70%) is water.
There were 15,479 households out of which 33.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.6% were married couples living together, 17.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.1% were non-families. 24.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.13.
In the city the population was spread out with 26.7% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 27.8% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 89.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $35,963, and the median income for a family was $42,393. Males had a median income of $36,463 versus $24,754 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,057. About 12.0% of families and 14.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.5% of those under age 18 and 11.2% of those age 65 or over.
There are four elementary schools for grades K-4. The schools are: Kohfeldt Elementary, Roosevelt-Wilson Elementary, Heights Elementary, and Northside Elementary.
There is one intermediate school, Levi Fry Intermediate, providing for 5th and 6th graders, and one middle school, Blocker Middle School, providing for 7th and 8th graders within the TCISD.