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Hurricane!, Part I (1962)

Galveston and Texas History Center - Rosenberg Library

Sound | 1962

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  •  Labor Day weekend, 1961 
  •  Upgraded to a tropical storm, the weather system receives a name: Carla 
  •  The storm hits Cuba 
  •  Journey to the eye of the storm 
  •  The first casualty of the hurricane 
  •  Evacuating the city 
  •  Day before landfall 
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This NBC television news special covers the lead-up to and aftermath of Hurricane Carla, which struck the Texas coast in September 1961. Narrated by Dane Clark, this part of the broadcast reviews how the storm developed, its damage to Caribbean countries such as Cuba, and preparations made in 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 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.