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Story of a Hurricane (1961)

Lake Jackson Historical Museum

Sound | 1961

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  •  Title Card 
  •  Tracking hurricane on map of the Gulf of Mexico 
  •  Aerial footage of hurricane damage to coastline and beaches 
  •  Boarding up windows 
  •  Cars evacuating along I-10 
  •  Hunkering down inside courthouse 
  •  Playing cards as hurricane passes 
  •  African-American families waiting out hurricane 
  •  Children sleeping 
  •  City quiet and boarded up in preparation of hurricane 
  •  Churning waves in the sea and seawall 
  •  Flooded coastal homes 
  •  Damage to roadways and streets during storm 
  •  High winds blowing trees 
  •  Reporter in the storm being blown away 
  •  Firefighters helping out 
  •  Port and coastal buildings being destroyed 
  •  Doppler Radar of the storm as it dissipated  
  •  Destruction in Galveston 
  •  Destruction to crops and livestock 
  •  Destruction to homes in Palacios, Texas 
  •  Palacios police officers interviewed after the storm 
  •  Relief agencies and military bring aid to the area 
  •  Coastal residents begin to rebuild 
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  • About the video
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This television news special broadcast covers the aftermath of Hurricane Carla when it struck the Texas coast in 1961. Narrated by Ray Miller and produced by KPRC-TV in Houston, highlights of the broadcast include scenes of the destruction and devastation as well as new technologies such as Doppler radar which make planning more effective and lower the death toll.
Carla is the second most intense hurricane to ever hit the Texas coast (the most intense was the "Indianola" hurricane of 1886.) Though the storm made landfall between Port O'Connor and Port Lavaca, it was so large that entire coast was affected; over half a million residents were evacuated, and damage was reported as far inland as Dallas. Carla caused $325 million (today $2.03 billion) in damage and killed 31 Texans.
An interesting note from the 1961 hurricane: then little known news anchor Dan Rather reported live during the storm from the Galveston seawall. It was the first live broadcast during a hurricane, later to become common practice in weather reporting.