Friday, August 18, 2006

Stormy weather

Does anyone remember what happened in Houston on this day 23 years ago?

How about 91 years ago?

On Aug. 17, 1915, Houstonians were just beginning to survey the damage left by a category 2-3 hurricane that made landfall 26 miles southwest of Galveston. The island city suffered serious damage, but, thanks to the newly constructed seawall, damage was not as severe as the 1900 storm.

Still, Houston suffered heavy losses.

"Hardly a structure in the city was left whole. What the wind did not wreck the rain ruined," the Houston Press wrote.

Among the damage:

* Windows were blown out at City Hall (located where Market Square is today), drenching offices and overturning furniture.

* A large, 50-year-old oak tree in front of the county jail was stripped of most of its limbs.

* Signs, billboards and plate glass windows along Main Street were destroyed.

* Water damaged Mayor Ben Campbell's home.

* Windows at the Ford motor plant were shattered.

* Fences, trees and buildings at Bismark Park (location?) were demolished.

The Handbook of Texas reports 275 deaths as a result of the storm. In 2004, the National Hurricane Center ranked the storm 29th among the costliest tropical cyclones to hit the United States. Adjusted for inflation, damage from the 1915 storm totaled nearly $2 billion.

More photos from the 1915 hurricane can be found here.

More on what happened 23 years ago today can be found here and here.



At 6:59 AM, Blogger laanba said...

I got the 23 one right away because at the exact moment I started reading your blog, the morning weather man started saying "23 years ago today...."

:-) I wish all questions were so easy to answer.

At 12:08 AM, Blogger J.R.G. said...

Hah! So true.


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