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Hurricane Carla Aftermath, no. 1

Texas Department of Public Safety Historical Museum and Research Center

Silent | 1961

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  • Hurricane Carla ... Hurricane Carla
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On September 11, 1961, Hurricane Carla made landfall on the Texas coast between Port O'Connor and Port Lavaca, leaving a wake of devastation in her track. Footage of the destruction is captured in this film; included are scenes of demolished buildings, loose wildlife (including a displaced alligator), and the extensively damaged downtown areas of Port Lavaca and Galveston.

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.