The great Galveston disaster, containing a full and thrilling account of the most appalling calamity of modern times including vivid descriptions of the hurricane Page: 106
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i06 THE GULF CITY A MASS OF RUINS.
in understanding the two-fold movement in cyclonic storms-the
translation of the storm as a whole along its track and the circulation
of the winds in the whirl itself-the idea that clear weather is
part of a storm movement will seem strange, and yet such is the
' If you are in the right quadrant and far enough from the
vortex, or storm center, though it will control the winds in your
vicinage, cloudless and rainless weather may easily be your lot.
And this was our experience, for the cyclone at 8 A. M. was central
over Quebec, whither it had traversed from Des Moines, Iowa,
over 1200 miles, in a direct line, northeast from where it was central
on Tuesday morning the IIth, at 8 o'clock.
TERRIBLE VELOCITY OF WIND.
" The rate at which it made this jump, taking in the lakes in
passing, was at the speed of fifty miles an hour, while the cyclonic
winds kept blowing into the centre at a velocity of seventy miles
an hour. That these two motions have nothing in common is
shown by the fact that on Saturday, when the vertical velocities
were at their height, ninety-six miles from the northeast and ioo
from the southeast at Galveston, the cyclone was moving on its
track from the Gulf to the interior of Texas at the sluggish pace
of ten and one-half miles an hour. It was this slow rate which had
prevailed ever since August 5 that accentuated all the evils of the
rotary circulation, for as the centre passed slowly over Galveston
it gave the cyclonic winds full opportunity to pile up the waters and
buffet and wreck the baildings.
" Fortunately we were over 400 miles from the vortex, and,
though we were within the sphere of its southern winds, they
merely proved an annoyance through the excessive dust and were
not disastrous. On the New England coast, as well as over the
lakes, the winds were stiffer, and we are yet to hear the full story
of the cyclone's journey from gulf to gulf. Meteorologically, it is
now a closed record, so far as the United States goes, but, unfortunately
for Galveston, the horror of the visitation grows as access
to the stricken town reveals the full extent of the devastation.
Here’s what’s next.
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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, book, 1900~; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth26719/m1/129/: accessed April 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .