Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"Colt .45s; putting bad guys underground since 1873." -- Unknown

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Let’s eat all of these people!” — Venom

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Sunday, October 17, 2021

The Day That Dan Rather Saved Thousands of Lives

It was September of 1961. Hurricane Carla, which was a massive hurricane, was in the Gulf of Mexico, heading for Texas. A young television reporter, Dan Rather of KHOU, took a camera to the U.S. Weather Bureau's office. There, the camera filed the storm on their new radar console. Rather had the brilliant idea of overlaying a transparent map of the Texas coast on the radar display.

With that, everything changed. Weather warnings, which people tended to regard as so much blah-blah-blah, were instantly understandable. Between 300,000 and 500,000 people evacuated ahead of the storm.

Hurricane Carla was one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes to make landfall. Wind gusts reached 170mph, It was far more powerful than the Galveston hurricane of 1900. That hurricane killed around 8,000 people. Carla killed less than fifty.

Some of the credit for the much lower death toll belongs to Dan Rather, who found a new way to tell the story.

2 comments:

Ten Bears said...

My uncle survived. His motorcycle didn't. Sweet ride, last-year knuckle ('49 I think, might'a been '50), your classic police cruiser sans the governor on the carb. Gone but not forgotten.

Long may you run, long, may you run ...

Fred Mallison said...

The last knucklehead was 1947. Pan head came out in 1948 with Hydra glide front end. I owned one of each.
I was 10 at the time of the storm. A local news station interviewed a house full of party people as the storm was approaching. One of the men was drinking out of a distinctive plastic tumbler that had sailfish logo. The next day the same news person came back to the scene. Nothing was left but the concrete slab of the house and a tumbler like the guy had been holding.