A NIGHT OF HORRORS. 33
the Mayor and Citizens' Committee to get in touch with the outside
world and appeal for help. Houston was the nearest point at
which working telegraph instruments could be found, the wires as
well as nearly all the buildings between here and the Gulf of
Mexico being wrecked.
" When I left Galveston the people were organizing for the
prompt burial of the dead, distribution of food and all necessary
work after a period of disaster.
CITY TURNED INTO A RAGING SEA.
" The wreck of Galveston was brought about by a tempest so
terrible that no words can adequately describe its intensity, and by
a flood which turned the city into a raging sea. The Weather
Bureau records show that the wind attained a velocity of eightyfour
miles an hour when the measuring instrument blew away, so
it is impossible to tell what was the maximum.
'" The storm began at 2 o'clock Saturday morning. Previous
to that a great storm had been raging in the Gulf, and the tide was
very high. The wind at first canle from the north, and was in
direct opposition to the force from the Gulf. Where the storm in
the Gulf piled the water up on the beach side of the city, the north
wind piled the water from the bay onto the bay part of the city.
" About noon it became evident that the city was going to be
visited with disaster. Hundreds of residences along the beach
front were hurridly abandoned, the families fleeing to dwellings in
higher portions of the city. Every home was opened to the
refugees, black or white. The winds were rising constantly, and
it rained in torrents. The wind was so fierce that the rain cut like
" By 3 o'clock the waters of the Gulf and bay met, and by dark
the entire city was submerged. The flooding of the electric light
plant and the gas plants left the city in darkness. To go upon
the streets was to court death. The wind was then at cyclonic
velocity, roofs, cisterns, portions of buildings, telegraph poles and
walls were falling, and the noise of the wind and the crashing of
buildings were terrifying in the extreme. The wind and waters 3
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 18, 2014.