The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, July 1961 - April, 1962 Page: 295
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Hurricane Carla at Galveston
He, like others, seemed to feel that the hurricane was to be ex-
pected. The tornado was not. Meteorologists have known for a
long time that tornadoes sometimes strike in the squall line which
precedes a hurricane." Such tornadoes did strike at Kaplan, Louis-
iana, at Houston, and in East Texas.o0 None was so destructive,
however, as those which hit in a freak weather situation at Gal-
veston. Even after the tornadoes struck, meteorologists were un-
certain whether they were really tornadoes or were waterspouts
similar to those which frequently dance along the water off the
island. The waterspouts had not been considered dangerous, and
most Galvestonians regarded them as a spectacle to be enjoyed
rather than to be feared."l
Galvestonians have a high respect for the destruction which a
hurricane can leave in its path, and when they received warnings
that a hurricane moving in the Gulf of Mexico might hit the
Texas coast, they began to make preparations for the storm.
Sixty-one years after the destructive storm of 1900oo had hit with
almost no warning, the first warnings that Carla might hit the
island were issued on Friday, September 8, 1961. The ten o'clock
advisory that night located the storm at 410 statute miles south of
New Orleans. Tides at that time were two feet above normal at
Galveston, and the county courthouse was prepared for use if
needed to take care of refugees.12 At John Sealy Hospital at the
University of Texas Medical Branch a meeting had been held that
afternoon to make plans for taking care of the patients at the
hospital, of the possible casualties, and of refugees who might
come to the hospital for safe shelter.?3 From Friday afternoon until
the storm finally hit the coast on Monday, Galvestonians braced
themselves for the destruction which they knew a hurricane
Although the eye of Carla did not hit Galveston, water damage
was extensive, and the greater portion of the island except that
part lying between the seawall and Broadway was covered by
ODunn and Miller, Atlantic Hurricanes, lo.
loHouston Post, September 14, 1961.
xlGalveston Daily News, September 17, 1961.
12Houston Post, September 9, 1961.
x1Unpublished report on Carla, University of Texas Medical School, September
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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/m1/331/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.