FIRST NEWS OF THE'GREAT CALAMITY. 19
observed just before the party landed. In the bay the carcasses
of nearly two hundred horses and mules were seen, but no human
body was visible.
The scenes during the storm could not be described. Women
and children were crowded into the Tremont Hotel, where he was
seeking shelter, and all night these unfortunates were bemoaning
their losses of kindred and fortune. They were grouped about
the stairways and in the galleries and rooms of the hotel. What
was occurring in other parts of the city could only be conjectured.
The city of Galveston waslnow entirely submerged and cut
off from communication. The boats were gone, the railroads
could not be operated, and the water was so high people could not
walk out by way of the bridge across the bay, even were the bridge
Provisions were badly needed, as a great majority of the
people lost all they had. The water works' power house was
wrecked, and a water famine was threatened, as the cisterns were
all ruined by the overflow of salt water. This was regarded as
the most serious problem to be faced. The city was in darkness,
the electric plant having been ruined.
BODIES FLOATING IN THE BAY.
There was no way of estimating the property damage. The
east end portion of the city, which was the residence district was
practically wiped out of existence. On the west end, which faces
the gulf on another portion of the island, much havoc was done.
The beach was swept clean, the bath-houses were destroyed, and
many of the residences were total wrecks.
Among the passengers who arrived at Houston on a relief
train from Galveston was Ben Dew, an attache of the Southern
Pacific. Dew had been at Virginia Point for several hours,
and said that he saw Ioo to i50 dead bodies floating out on the
beach at that place.
Conductor Powers reported that twenty-five corpses had been
recovered by the life-saving crew, many of them women; that the
Lester, Paul. The great Galveston disaster, containing a full and thrilling account of the most appalling calamity of modern times including vivid descriptions of the hurricane. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth26719/. Accessed December 21, 2014.