Bay City caught in fury of 1909 ‘Velasco’ hurricane

Courtesy of Matagorda County Museum
Wall collapse on the northwest corner of the Boney Building on the east side of the square.

Headlines from Houston Post over its news articles tied to 1909 hurricane impact in Matagorda County.
 Fifty Per Cent of Business and Residence Section Damaged and Loss Will Total $250,000
 Under Martial Law
 Army of Constables Sworn In to Protect Property
 But One Loss of Life
Infant of Mr. Calloway Was Crushed Under Falling Walls
 The Town is in Need of Help
Carpenters Are Needed to Rebuild Razed Structures—-City Is in Darkness and Water Supply Has Been Cut Off
   Bay City, Texas, July 23 — With martial law proclaimed, the city in darkness, cut off without water supply and a lack of help to clear away the ruins, Bay City tonight is slowly recovering from the storm of yesterday which spent the fury upon this vicinity. 
   But one life was claimed by the hurricane - that of an infant of Mr. Calloway - while others suffered more or less painful injuries by flying glass or falling debris. 
   The loss will total $250,000, which includes the city damage alone, totaling 50 percent, estimates to the crop damage being impossible, although it is contended the damage to the rice crop, which is flooded in places, will not exceed 10 percent. 
   Bay City was apparently the center of the storm’s path. 
   The wind, which began rising about 9 o’clock in the morning, blew from the northwest, and rose steadily till, at 1:30, it was blowing seventy miles an hour.  
   At that hour it veered suddenly to due west and as suddenly increased in velocity to 80 miles an hour.  
   During the ensuing hours, the greatest amount of damage was done, for the storm blew with unabating fury, slowly shifting to the southwest, and seeming to seek out the weak points of buildings which had resisted its attack from other quarters. 

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