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The Dow Chemical Collection - Hurricane Carla Storm Damage (1961)

Lake Jackson Historical Museum

Silent | 1961

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  •  Crane fallen into river 
  •  Hurricane damage to shed and buildings 
  •  Barge beached on shoal 
  •  Damage to buildings by the water 
  •  Red cross truck providing food, water, and services to residents 
  •  Cleaning out flooded buildings 
  •  Chemical barrels fallen into water 
  •  Flooded railroad tracks 
  •  Cranes and trucks loading damaged equipment 
  •  Warning not to drink water from plant 
  •  Beached fishing boat 
  •  Damaged buildings and cleaning out water 
  •  Car thrown into canal 
  •  Cattle grazing near flooded causeway 
  •  Levy construction and maintenance 
  •  Drinking water provided to residents 
  •  Flooded town, damaged fishing boats 
  •  Hurricane tracked and plotted on map of the Gulf of Mexico 
  •  Ending title cards 
  •  Additional hurricane damage footage 
  •  A lost sea captain’s hat 
  •  Storm surge damage 
  •  Passing out checks to workers 
  •  Chemical plant damage from storm, smoke stacks toppled 
  •  Dow chemist using a fume vent and bunsen burner 
  •  Stock footage of Dow chemists at work 
  •  Workers lining up to clock out for the day 
  •  Electrical power routing station 
  •  Welders and machinists at work 
  •  Hurricane tracking on map of the Gulf of Mexico 
  •  Port Lavaca black and white footage during hurricane 
  •  Radar of storm making landfall on the coast 
  •  Police directing traffic following storm 
  •  Storm damage to plant and canals 
  •  Flood and storm surge damage to railroad tracks 
  •  Flooded parking lot at the Dow Plant 
  •  Animals hurt or killed by the storm 
  •  Large chemical silos with extensive storm damage to outer covering 
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  • About the video
  • Hurricane Carla Hurricane Carla
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This film, produced by Vital Research Films, documents the damage following Hurricane Carla in 1961 along the Gulf Coast, from Houston to Port Lavaca. Filmed on September 14, 1961, scenes include damage to the coastline, damage to livestock, pollution from plants and factories, and police, government, and industry response to the disaster. This film was produced by Vital Research Films and the Texas Industrial Company
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 the 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.