CRY OF DISTRESS IN GALVESTON. 63
posted in the city in order to facilitate this feature of the relief
DISPOSING OF THE DEAD.
So far the efforts of the searchers have necessarily been confined
to the open places, and it will be some time before the dead
swept into the fields, the alleys and the gullies are gathered and
laid away for good. The city is one awful stench of decaying animal
matter. Nearly every animal on the island'was killed, and
the thousands of human remains still scattered beneath the vast
piles of debris add to the danger of the situation. Too much time
was lost in consigning the dead to the sea, and the workers were
compelled by the exigencies of the situation to pile the corpses
where found, and cremate them as well as this could be done.
PEOPLE DELAYED FLIGHT TOO LONG.
Oswald Wilson, editor of the Texan, who-arrived with the refugees,
says that the situation cannot be painted any blacker than it
really is. Fully one-third of the city has been destroyed absolutely
and every building damaged. He says that one reason that the
loss of life was so excessive was due to the fact that they delayed
leaving their homes until too late. The water rose rapidly for
several hours until the centre of the city was six feet deep and the
outlying section covered to a depth of over ten feet. The people
of Galveston were accustomed to high water, although they had
never witnessed so great an inundation, but their fears were calmed
by the fact that during this period the wind had; not risen above
thirty miles an hour, and every year they had seen this condition
during the equinoctial periods.
REALIZED THEIR PERIL TOO LATE.
Men waded about the city laughing at the rise of the water
for hours, for the sea gradually encroached during the morning,
and it was only when they realized the bay was forcing its contents
to meet the tide from the Gulf that they lost their confidence that
the present was but another attempt of the elements to create
a disturbance, and seriously endeavored to reach a point of safety.
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 March 6, 2015.