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: 505
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GREAT STORMS AND VAST' DESTRUCTION. 505
such a rythmical obedience as it would seem to appear at given
places and times. In this case the weather bureau was accurately
alert to the approaching disturbance. Four days before its arrival
on the coast its formation in the Caribbean Sea was noted and its
probable course northward chartered and proclaimed as a danger
to the Atlantic States. The meteorological phenomenon was correctly
defined and watched in its development until on Thursday
flight it reached the Florida coast and struck a rude blow at Tampa.
Up to this moment the weather office had made no mistake and its
predictions lifted its utterance to the domain of verified prophecy.
FREAKS OF THE HURRICANE.
"Then the behavior of the storm with reference to its movements
becomes almost fantastic. It was as if its controlling spirit
had received a notice of the warning that had preceded it and the
preparations of commerce to defend itself from its attacks. Therefore
it made a feint demonstration upon the Atlantic Ocean, and
suddenly turning fairly about in its course flew westward out of
barometric supervision to seek a more vulnerable spot. Galveston
was open to it, and sweeping across the gulf, from which no herald
of warning could hasten in advance, it struck the Texas coast on
Saturday and went howling with demoniac fury over the Mississippi
plateau, across the lakes and down the St. Lawrence Valley
out to sea again, to be chilled to death in the frigid air currents of
the polar seas.
"When the West India Islands and the ports of Mexico are
equipped with weather observing stations from which prompt and
frequent reports shall be made, no storm can draw nigh on shores
to effect a surprise. Commerce can in a measure protect itself, but
ill-built cities and crops must at intervals suffer. The lesson of
tlie last one is of warning, but how to profit by it outruns prevision
that seeks absolute security. There can be no such thing, 'for as
the pestilence walketh in darkness and destruction wasteth at noon
still a thousand shall fall and ten thousand at thy right hand, for
the hand of man cannot stay the tempest.' This is according to
all human experience."
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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/m1/563/: accessed April 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .