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A Journey through Hurricane Carla’s Aftermath (1961)

Brazoria County Historical Museum

Sound | 1961

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  •  Whole buildings are submerged in water 
  •  Trees are toppled and torn from their roots 
  •  Babies recline on a fallen tree 
 
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Ride along with Brazoria County resident Bill Hill as he records the damage and flooding caused by Hurricane Carla in 1961. A surprisingly jaunty soundtrack accompanies this footage.

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.