Indianola, TX Hurricane, Sept 1875

Indianola in 1875 before the Hurricane


Late Reports Confirm the Fearful Stories of that City's Disaster.

A Picture of Utter Desolation and Misery Almost Unparalelled (sic) - Ninety Bodies Recovered from the Ruins.

The steamship Harlan from Indianola via Galveston, arrived at Brashear on Wednesday, at noon. Some of her passengers from Galveston telegraphed their friends in this city confirming the report of the almost entire destruction of Indianola by the Gulf cyclone.

The train bearing a number of the passengers brought to Brashear by the steamship Harlan, arrived in the city last evening.

Included in the number were several gentlemen, the Messrs. Buckels and Mr. O'Kelly, of Galveston, who came direct from Indianola, where they were during the cyclone. They fully corroborate the report published on Wednesday morning as the Immense Loss of Life and property, and state that the scene, when they left there on Monday afternoon was terrible to behold.

The storm began on Wednesday evening and increased in violence until Thursday morning, when the gale burst upon the town with all its fury, the water in the bay rising rapidly, but did not create and general feeling of alarm until late Thursday morning, when it began to swell rapidly, rising Over Six Feet in Two Hours and rapidly neared the flood mark of 1867, and yet the horror stricken people almost paralysed (sic) with fear did not seem to realize their danger, none of them making efforts to escape. In fact they could hardly have done so as the wind was then blowing a hurricane.

An hour later the water rose above the flood mark, and at four o'clock that afternoon the wind was driving it through the streets at the rate of Twelve or Fifteen Miles an Hour, the velocity of the wind, at the same time being eighty-eight miles an hour named.

It was then that the citizens of the place saw that there was no means of escape, for back of the city was a large open plain covered with water for three or four miles and to the depth of from Four to Eight Feet, and huge breakers washing from the bay inland as far as the eye could see.

At night the water in the city had risen to a depth of seven feet, the citizens in the meantime having taken refuge in the second stories of their dwellings, there to remain anxiously awaiting the dawn of day.

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Indianola, Texas Hurricane

The first of the two great Indianola hurricanes that resulted in the demise of the town began on September 15, 1875... The hurricane blew in from the sea, carrying the water from Matagorda Bay deep into Indianola's streets. Two days later, when the storm had subsided, only eight buildings were left undamaged, and fatalities were estimated at between 150 and 300 persons. After being rebuilt on a lesser scale, Indianola was completely destroyed by a second hurricane that blew in on August 19, 1886, this time accompanied by fire.

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