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: 491
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SNATCHED FROM THE JAWS OF DEATH. 491
of the house. The gallery floated away, and, with one foot inside
the door, I was left hanging against the front of the house. It
was an easy thing to stay there, for the wind held me as firmly as
if I had been screwed to he thouse.
"It is hard to believe, but still it is true. A little after 8
o'clock the wind actually increased in violence. I am confident I
do not exaggerate one bit when I say it was blowing fully 125
miles an hour. I could see into the hall, and saw a beautiful
phenomenon when the wind was at its height. Whether from
phosphorescence of the sea water or from electricity generated by
the high wind, I can't say, but, from whatever cause it was, the
drops of rain became luminous as they struck the wall, and it
looked like a display of miniature fireworks. The luminous particles
were about the size of a pin head, though one ball about
half as large as a boy's marble, formed on the door facing and
slowly slipped down into the water.
WIND AT I25 MILES AN HOUR.
" The wind at I25 miles an hour is something awful. I could
neither hear nor see when it was at its height and it was difficult
to breathe. I am nearly six feet in height and estimating the
surface of my body exposed to the wind at five square feet, my
body sustained at that time a pressure of 390 pounds. I began
to think my house would never go. The wind acted as if it
thought so, too, for it got harder and harder and harder until
finally I felt the house yielding. I took a firm hold of my door
facing, placed both feet against the house, exerted my full
strength, tore the facing loose and as the house went kicked
myself as far away from it as possible, so as to avoid sunken
debris rising to the surface.
"The house rose out of the water several feet, was caught by
the wind and whisped away like a railway train and I was left in
perfect security, free from all floating timber or debris, to follow
more slowly. The surface of the water was almost flat. The
wind beat it down so that there was not even the suspicion of a
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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/m1/549/: accessed June 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .