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Texas Disasters: True Stories of Tragedy and Survival

Overview

It’s only human to be fascinated by disasters—and uplifted by reports of survival in the face of overwhelming circumstances. Mike Cox takes you back to Texas’s most catastrophic events, vividly re-creating the moments that changed the Lone Star State forever. The nineteen true stories in Texas Disasters are a chilling reminder to expect the unexpected and to respect the powerful, often deadly forces of nature. Experience the drama of:A Spanish fleet stranded off the coast of South Padre Island in 1554 The 1867 ...
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Overview

It’s only human to be fascinated by disasters—and uplifted by reports of survival in the face of overwhelming circumstances. Mike Cox takes you back to Texas’s most catastrophic events, vividly re-creating the moments that changed the Lone Star State forever. The nineteen true stories in Texas Disasters are a chilling reminder to expect the unexpected and to respect the powerful, often deadly forces of nature. Experience the drama of:A Spanish fleet stranded off the coast of South Padre Island in 1554 The 1867 Yellow Fever epidemic, so widespread some towns never recoveredThe Galveston hurricane of 1900, the nation’s worst until Katrina in 2005A1912 railroad boiler disaster, the worst in U.S. historyThe SS Marine Sulphur Queen’s mysterious disappearance in 1963
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Texans always pitch in and help each other after a tragedy..."--Mike Cox
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781493013166
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/1/2015
  • Series: Disasters Series
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 288

Meet the Author

Mike Cox is the author of a dozen books on Texas history and other subjects. He was the communications manager for the Texas Department of Transportation while Texas absorbed hundreds of thousands of evacuees during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Before that, he spent fifteen years with the Texas Department of Public Safety as a public information officer and was a newspaper reporter--all good research for writing about disasters and rescue efforts in Texas.
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Read an Excerpt

Just before 6 p.m., a monstrous black cloud dropped from the skies on the south side of town and began its death march across the defenseless city. "The giant tornado was a massive black column extending from the low striated base of the inky clouds to the ground," a National Weather Service report later said. Huge pieces of debris thrown high in the air were clearly visible from miles away as the storm cut a swath of destruction through the city. Eyewitnesses described details of the storm differently, but they were unanimous on one point--it was an awesome, terrifying experience beyond anything they had encountered before.
The police officers at Memorial Stadium could attest to that. They watched in horror from outside the stadium press box as the cloud-containing at least five funnels-moved straight toward them. Knowing they could not outrun it, they bolted down the stadium stairs, huddled against a steel stairway railing, locked their arms together, and prayed. One of them later told a reporter that his only prayer was that his body could be identified. The roar of the storm was deafening, and the men were blasted by swirling debris.
But then the roar stopped. The mile-wide tornado moved on, looking for more victims, and the police officers were alive. The winds had torn the speakers from their radios, their handcuffs had been sucked out of their leather cases, and their service revolvers had been ripped open. Neuberth's watch had stopped at 6:05.
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Table of Contents

(1) Introduction (2) South Padre Island shipwreck, 1544 (3) "Yellow Jack": Yellow fever epidemic, 1867 (4) Indianola hurricanes, 1875 (5) Galveston hurricanes, 1900 (6) Goliad tornado, 1902 (7) Paris burning, 1877 (8) Boiler explosion on locomotive no. 704, 1912 (9) Central Texas flood, 1921 (10) Rocksprings tornado, 1927 (11) New London school explosion, 1937 (12) Houston hotel fire, 1943 (13) Texas City ship explosion, 1947 (14) Waco/San Angelo twisters, 1953 (15) Texas drought, 1950s (16) The blizzard of '56 (17) Disappearance of the Sulphur Queen, 1963 (18) Sanderson flood, 1965 (19) Wichita Falls tornado, 1979 (20) Aviation disasters, 1985-2003 (21) Afterword on Hurricanes Katrina and Rita (22) Texas disasters timeline (23) Bibliography
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