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Texas | Features | Texas Storms

Hurricane Carla

Galveston (Galveston County)
September 12, 1961

By Marlene Bradford
If many Galveston residents had not been in shelters to escape the onslaught of Hurricane Carla, the death toll from a tornado that struck in the middle of the night on September 12, 1961, would have been much greater. The waterspout that moved onto land was the most intense tornado to ever hit Galveston. Most of the homes from Nineteenth to Twenty-Fifth Streets and from Seawall Boulevard to the bay were leveled. Eight died, and fifty-five were injured. About eleven hundred storm refugees were jammed into the courthouse when the twister blew out the windows. Red Cross personnel manning the evacuation site yelled for everyone to “hit the deck!” No one was seriously injured. About three hundred homes and several businesses were heavily damaged; many of the buildings had been weakened by the hurricane.


© Marlene Bradford
April 25, 2015 guest column
Galveston County Texas  1920s  map
Galveston County 1920s map showing Galveston
Courtesy Texas General Land Office
See Texas Tornadoes: The Lone Star State’s Deadliest Twisters

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