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Flooding in Central Texas

Gordon Wilkison

Silent | 1960s

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TAMI Tags
  •  American Red Cross outpost 
  •  Along the San Gabriel River in Georgetown 
  •  Johnson City 
  •  Rescue team 
  •  Boggy Creek in Austin 
  •  Aerial footage of flooded waterways 
  •  Along Mansfield Dam 
  •  On the water 
  •  Downtown Lampasas 
  •  Disaster relief and cleanup 
 
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  • About the video
  • Gordon Wilkison Gordon Wilkison
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This raw news footage, shot by KTBC-TV cameraman Gordon Wilkison, captures flooding and flood damage around Central Texas in the 1960s. The storm possibly occurred on October 28, 1960, when seven to ten inches of rain fell in South Central Texas. Eleven people died in the resulting flash floods, while 300 Austin families were driven from their homes. This film documents the flooding in Waco, Georgetown, Johnson City, Austin, and Lampasas.
Gordon Wilkison began work as a cameraman at the local Austin television station KTBC (now FOX 7) during 1952, its first year of operation.  At the time the station was owned by the Texas Broadcasting Company, which was owned by Senator Lyndon B. and Lady Bird Johnson. This relationship would continue to shape Wilkison's career well into the next decades - during the Johnson administration, Wilkison covered the president's visits to Texas, preparing material for national and international news correspondents. 
 
A particularly notable moment in his career occurred on August 1, 1966, when Wilkison and KTBC reporter Neal Spelce risked their lives to capture footage of the Tower shooting at the University of Texas. 
 
Wilkison was also the General Manager of Photo Processors at the LBJ Broadcasting Corporation, which he later took over and renamed Cenetex Film Labs. In addition to his camera work and film processing, his work at the station also included direction of a number of television film productions.
 
Outside of KTBC, Wilkison shot, edited, and processed Longhorn football game footage for the University of Texas, a partnership that lasted nearly 30 years.    
 
Recognizing the historical value of film and news footage, Wilkison kept the material, later contributing hundreds of reels to the Texas Archive of the Moving Image's collection.