The Great Galveston Disaster, Containing a Full and Thrilling Account of the Most Appalling Calamity of Modern Times Page: 222
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222 DOOMED CITY TURNED TO CHAOS.
The wind gauge recorded a two-minute blow at the rate of 00oo
miles an hour and was then demolished by the hurricane, which
continued to increase in violence. While the exact velocity of the
wind was not recorded after the destruction of the instruments,
the Weather Bureau representatives estimate the maximum
velocity at between I o and 120 miles an hour. It did not maintain
this terrific rate for any length of time, probably a half minute
or minute gusts, but sufficient to wreck anything that met the
full force of the storm.
A journal of the local office of the Weather Bureau contains
the report of an apparent tidal wave of four feet which swept in
from the Gulf some time between the hours of 7 and 8 P. M., and
the time the wind veered to the southeast and attained its highest
velocity of between IIo and I20 miles an hour. It should be
remembered that there was a tide of about five feet and a terrible
swell in the Gulf during the storm, and that the tidal wave of four
feet rode this wall of water and increased the force and speed of
the sea that washed over the city.
VIVID DESCRIPTION OF THE CALAMITY.
Hon. Jeff McLemore, of Austin, a well known journalist and
ex-member of the Legislature, returned from Galveston and gave
the following vivid description of the horrors:
" We were five hours making the trip from the mainland, and
it was not until 7 o'clock Monday evening that we reached the
wharf. When within two miles of the city we discovered a number
of human bodies floating in the bay, and as the boat passed
each it caused a shudder of horror among the living. Soon after
the sun went down the moon came up in a cloudless sky. The
bay was as a large mirror, and the scene seemed so peaceful and
serene that for a moment it was hard to realize that we were soon
to gaze upon the saddest, darkest picture in the book of time. A
gentle breeze wafted our boat lightly over the smooth waters, and
as we entered the harbor and neared the wharves, formerly the
scene of busiest life, a silence deep and awful prevailed. No one
on board spoke a word and the silence was only broken by the
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Lester, Paul. The Great Galveston Disaster, Containing a Full and Thrilling Account of the Most Appalling Calamity of Modern Times, book, 1900~; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth26719/m1/276/: accessed November 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .