1912: Hurricane Hits Our Coast

October 15 & 16, 1912 high winds and rain hit the area. Eye witnesses, including an employee of the U. S. Weather Bureau to the train conductor on the R.G.R.R. share their observations. The following two articles were transcribed from files in a private collection.

HURRICANE OF 1912 AT POINT ISABEL
Tues. 15 & Wed. 16 Oct., 1912
By  E. B. Edwards, U. S. Weather Bureau

Point Isabel and the surrounding Island suffered damage in thousands of dollars as a result of the storm Tuesday night and this morning. A number of buildings were wrecked and swept away, and several fishing shacks were wrecked and capsized. No loss of life has been reported.

Tuesday morning the wind changed to the northwest and came with increasing velocity until about 2 p.m. today it was blowing a gale. At that time most of the fishing fleet held its anchorage, but soon after some of the boats started dragging and turned over.

The fish house of the Texas Fish Co. was completely demolished. Nearly all buildings on Tarpon Beach were blown down and swept away. The Yturria building on Brazos Island suffered the same damage and more or less damage was done to the U. S. Life Sta. on Brazos Island. 

The Brownsville Fish Company’s fish house was damaged and the machinery badly twisted. Their wharf was completely swept away and some of their fishing boats capsized and were wrecked. The International Fish Company suffered approximately the same damage.

The wharf and tracks of the Rio Grande Railroad Company are badly torn and twisted.

The tide rose about 6 feet in less than 4 hours. It rained incessantly all Tuesday and Tuesday night until 10 o’clock this morning.

At 8 o’clock this morning the wind whipped around to the N.W. and the tide commenced to fall rapidly. The damage then was more apparent and the oldest inhabitant here claims this is the worst storm he has ever seen in this locality.

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STORM DESTROYED LIFE SAVING STATION

(Oct 16, 1912)

Sidney P. Rousett, conductor on the Point Isabel train that left Brownsville yesterday morning for the Point at 8 o’clock, reported last night on his return at 9:40 that the train only got as far as the trestle, 8 miles this side of Point Isabel. The trestle was thought too weak to attempt to cross it, and the fireman was sent afoot to Point Isabel.

Mr. Rousett confirmed the report of the destruction of the buildings on Tarpon Beach and Brazos Island, and said that the Life Saving Station was also destroyed. He carried a message to that effect for Captain William Hutchins of the U. S. Life Saving Service at Galveston. The message was sent by Keeper Wallace Reed of the Brazos Life Saving Station.

The life saving crew are all safe, and no lives were lost, according to Conductor Rousett.

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