Galveston Hurricane 1900 II

Lead: Winds raged at more than one hundred miles an hour. Houses were crumbling right and left. Flood waters stormed through the town. The Great Hurricane of September 1900 was paying a visit on Galveston, Texas.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Weatherman Isaac Cline, his wife, Cora, their three children and his brother Joe were all huddled in the family home when, suddenly, a streetcar trestle slammed into the side of the house causing their home to collapse. Joe and two of the children quickly escaped through a window. Joe called for his brother, but the other three were trapped against the chimney under the wreckage. Suddenly, the wreckage shifted and the little group was thrown upward, but that was hardly a comfort. A flash of lightening revealed one of Isaac’s daughters clinging to a piece of debris and his brother and other children in the distance. Cora was gone. The next few hours were a nightmare. At one point, the group was sucked out to sea. Screams punched through the howling winds. Acts of bravery were commonplace as residents pulled bodies from underneath crushing beams and helped others dodge falling electrical lines.


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Galveston Hurricane 1900 I

Lead: It was September 7, 1900. The citizens of Galveston, Texas slept peacefully unaware they were about to become actors in one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. History.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Weatherman Isaac Cline took a leisurely stroll admiring the colorful streets and sandy white beaches of Galveston, Texas. He had been in the resort town for eleven years and working for the U.S. Weather Service for 18. That Friday he had gotten some worrisome news. A major hurricane was headed his way. Strange. The sky was blue, and the barometric pressure had fallen only slightly.


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Mt. Pelee II

Lead: During its deadly destruction of the Martinique port city of St. Pierre, Mt. Pelée threw up an unusual form of volcanic eruption, the nuée ardente, or glowing cloud.Tag: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Volcanoes come in different forms. Their shape is determined by a variety of factors: the amount, sequence, and contents of what comes out during an eruption and the nature of the vent and land through which it pushes its volcanic product called magma. The perfectly shaped volcanoes such as Mt. Fuji in Japan are called stratovolcanoes because in most cases, over a long period of time, they generate moderate eruptions of ash and lava which are then deposited in layers or strata. Mt. Pelée, a stratavolcano, towers 4500 feet above the northern end of the Caribbean Island of Martinique.

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Mt. Pelee I

Lead: On the morning of May 8, 1902, a massive cloud of volcanic matter rolled out of the conical summit of Mt. Pelée and plunged toward the coastal city of St. Pierre on the Caribbean island of Martinique. Within minutes the 30,000 citizens of St. Pierre had been incinerated.

Tag: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Visited by Columbus on his fourth voyage in 1502, Martinique was first settled by Europeans when the French established a colony there in 1635. Except for a few years during wartime, they retained control and French Martinique remains in the twenty-first century. The island was formed by volcanoes, the principal of which was Mt. Pelée, a stratovolcano towering 4500 feet above the northern end of the Island. Until 1902 the chief commercial center of Martinique was the port of St. Pierre three miles distant from Mt. Pelée.

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The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 – III

Lead: In 1927 the Mississippi River blew over the levees confidently constructed to contain the mightiest of waters. To that time it was the biggest so-called natural disaster in American history.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: On Good Friday, April 15, 1927 all up and down the Mississippi Valley it was raining. It had been an unusual year. Spring had brought tornadoes, earthquakes, and almost constant rain. The US Weather Bureau Station at Cairo, Illinois had noted 10 distinct flood crests moving down the Mississippi River. Flood crests meant flooding. Lots of it.

The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 – II

Lead: After the Civil War, attempts to harness and confine the channel of the Mississippi River kicked into high gear. While effective in the short term, in the end the River nearly always wins the battle.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Shortly after the Civil War two great engineers struggled to enforce their will over the Mississippi River. James Buchanan Eads was often opposed by the at times intolerant and uncompromising chief of the Army Corps of Engineers, Gen. Andrew Atkinson Humphreys. Eads conceived the brilliant plan for the construction of parallel jetties far out into the Gulf of Mexico below New Orleans. This narrowed the channel and used the force of the River’s own current to cut deep shipping lanes through the silt and sediment dumped by the water at the Mississippi’s mouth. Soon the Port of New Orleans became one of the world’s largest. Both men were committed to the construction of levees but also believed that constant dredging was required to ensure that the river channel could be maintained. They also believed that provision should be made for dispersal of river water when, in times of flooding, the levees were incapable of holding back and containing what was in excess of 3,000,000 cubic tons of water per second rushing toward the Gulf.

The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 – I

Lead: In 1927 the Mississippi River exploded from its natural and man-made restraints creating the greatest natural disaster in American history up to that point.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Since the beginning of humanity, rivers have attracted people. These waterways provide swift transportation as compared to the cross-country alternative. River valleys provide famously rich, productive land for farming and other agricultural pursuits. Each year alluvial floods bring tons of rich soil from upriver to renew the nutrients necessary for growing crops. Because of the benefits the water bestows on those who live close to it, primitive societies have often held the rivers in religious veneration. Villages, then towns, then cities have been built on land adjacent to rivers, but most of the time just beyond the reach of potential flooding at least in the memory of those doing the building.