28 FIRST NEWS OF THE GREAT CALAMITY.
may easily have a crest of from eight to nine feet, for a city such
as Galveston this would be nost ominous.
Such a fate as an inundation during the prevalence of a hurricane
has been forecast for the island city, whose population
according to the new census is 37,789, many of whom live under
conditions that invite loss of life in case of a tidal overflow. And
yet, though such a disaster has been foreseen and forecast, the
inertia of one's adherance to normal life and duties is such that
even in the face of specific warning it is not likely any number
would flee to the mainland. On September 8th, for instance, the
Weather Bureau, which had not lost track of the storm, very correctly
pointed out that the hurricane was moving northwestward
slowly, towards the Texas coast, Port Eads, La., giving a wind
velocity of fifty-six miles an hour. Storm warnings were ordered
for the eastern Texas and middle Gulf region, and high winds
were specifically forecast for the coast of eastern Texas. More
the Burealu could not do, but it looks as if its warnings were in
THE FATEFUL WINDS GATHERING FORCE.
Unfortunately for Galveston, the slow movement of the hurricane
was an additional menace, since this meant the longer pounding
of the vertical winds of high velocities. As most readers
know, the hurricane is a storm which has two entirely distinct
'motions. It is a great cyclonic whirl in which the winds blow
into and about the centre at great velocities, while its motion along
its track may be comparatively slow.
In the present case it took the hurricane four days to cross
the Gulf from Key West to Galveston, which was at a rate of
about twelve and one-half miles an hour. Its rotary winds, however,
even a hundred miles from the centre on Friday, were raging
at a rate of over fifty miles, and as the vortex passed directly and
slowly over Galveston, the buffeting of the winds beginning on
Friday evening and continuing far into Saturday, must have been
terrific. Moreover, as the whole of Galveston is built up of frame
houses without cellars on uncertain foundations, the evil possibilities
Muslt Ie obvious,
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 April 17, 2014.