The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, July 1961 - April, 1962 Page: 294
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
nado almost moved with the compass. A section of the west end
of the city was also touched by a second tornado which may have
been potentially as destructive as the first. It hit, however, in a less
densely-populated section, which had been almost entirely evac-
uated because of the hurricane alert. In addition to the two serious
tornadoes, several other minor ones were reported, but no other
one did extensive damage.8
Carla was called an "extremely dangerous storm" by the weather
forecasters and even 125 miles from its center was a threat to life
and property. Galveston was situated in the right front quadrant
of the storm, the most turbulent area of a tropical hurricane.4
Credit for the low loss of life-one man a possible victimS-was
given to the seawall which was constructed in 190o and to the
advances in meteorology and in communication which made it
possible to forecast adequate warnings to the island residents. Al-
though only about 15,000 of the 67,ooo residents of the city left,"
those who remained moved to safer quarters on high ground.
Certainly the story was far different from 1900 when six thousand
islanders died' and from 1915 when about fifty Galvestonians lost
The typical attitude toward hurricanes could be summed up in
what a hotel bellboy said two weeks after the 1961 storm hit.
"Much water here?" was asked.
"Up to those steps," the bellboy said, pointing to a flight of
marble steps about thirty inches above the street level outside.
"About to get back to normal?" was then asked.
"Some folks won't ever get back to normal. We had a tornado
sGalveston Daily News, September 16, 1961; Carson, "Hurricane Carla, Galveston,
Texas," official report of the U. S. Weather Bureau.
4Gordon E. Dunn and Banner I. Miller, Atlantic Hurricanes (Baton Rouge,
5The body of Clarence A. West, of Houston, was found near the Highway 6 over-
pass off Highway 75. He was thought to have been trying to reach Galveston when
he drowned. Galveston Daily News, September 14, 1961.
"This estimate was made by William J. Burns, acting chief of police in Galveston,
on the basis of the number of cars which left Galveston by the ferry or over the
causeway. William J. Burns to M.S.H., signed statement (MS. in possession of
7Dunn and Miller, Atlantic Hurricanes, 3o2.
SGalveston Daily News, August 27, 1915.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, July 1961 - April, 1962, periodical, 1962; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101195/m1/328/: accessed April 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.