“This great disaster, which has startled the entire world, has made an indelible impression on the minds of the public, and everyone will be interested in seeing authentic moving pictures of a representative American city almost entirely wiped out by the combined power of water and wind.”Thomas Edison Film Catalog, The Galveston Cyclone Series
The old saying goes, “If you don’t like Texas weather, stick around a few minutes.” From the lush Piney Woods to the arid Chihuahuan Desert, the state’s diverse climate landscape has been home to drastic meteorological extremes since the National Weather Bureau was first established in 1870. Texas has endured some of the most devastating natural disasters in United States history, shaping the development of disaster preparedness and climate control efforts in the process. Documenting these storms has played a critical role in this deepened understanding. Camera crews traveled far and wide across the state to capture and share images of floods, hurricanes, drought, and tornadoes with the public as early as the Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900.
While conversations concerning climate change continue to be at the forefront of political agenda and debate, WEATHERING TEXAS traces the history of the state’s natural disasters through the lens of newsreels, amateur footage, industrial films, documentaries, and public service announcements. This audio-visual history of Texas disasters not only tells a story of survival and rebuilding but also identifies storms as sites of change within the state’s economy, infrastructure, and local communities.