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The Galveston Storm of 1900

"We heard soon the blinds and windows break in the rooms upstairs... It sounded as if the room were filled with a thousand little devils, shrieking and whistling... We all prayed."
~ Louisa Hansen Rollfing

In 1900, Galveston was the grand dame of Texas, a vibrant port city sitting hautily on a sand bar facing the gulf. The great hurricane arrived on a Saturday in September, almost without warning, reducing the town to a splintered wasteland. Some 6,000 perished as survivors struggled to save themselves amid the towering waves, rocking debris, and floating wreckage of their city.

In this edition of Lost and Found Sound, producer John Burnett revisits the worst natural disaster in U.S. history with recorded oral histories, memoirs, and correspondence - the weathermen, the children, the lovers - the survivors of the 1900 storm.

"Destruction and desolation; wreckage strewn everywhere, chaos, and that voice still ringing in my ears, 'Save me!'"~ Arnold Wolfram

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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As NPR's Southwest correspondent based in Austin, Texas, John Burnett covers immigration, border affairs, Texas news and other national assignments. In 2018, 2019 and again in 2020, he won national Edward R. Murrow Awards from the Radio-Television News Directors Association for continuing coverage of the immigration beat. In 2020, Burnett along with other NPR journalists, were finalists for a duPont-Columbia Award for their coverage of the Trump Administration's Remain in Mexico program. In December 2018, Burnett was invited to participate in a workshop on Refugees, Immigration and Border Security in Western Europe, sponsored by the RIAS Berlin Commission.