Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Friday, May 9, 2008

Typhoon Gloria - 1963

Sarj has come up with more photos to share. These shots were taken from the USTDC parking lot in front of the building during September 1963 after Typhoon Gloria.

Here is his description of what happened:

This storm stayed outside the island for a week, pounding us with rain, then it came ashore at high tide. As I remember, that was a Friday so we thought that by Monday we would be back to work and all would be well.

Well, it didn't work out that way. The storm stayed stationary over us for days and flooded areas that hadn't flooded for years. We had just got a new 2nd class, P.H. "Zip" Zimmerman, in our lab and I advised him to park his car in the parking lot of the compound. I told him it had never flooded there before and everyone agreed with me. Wouldn't you know this time it did flood and his car was totally submerged.

I just checked and found that Gloria was the sixth largest typhoon to ever hit Taiwan. In 1963 it was the largest ever recorded. It dumped 49.13 inches of rain on the island!


Anonymous said...

Looking at the Gloria photos and the front of the USTDC building, a question came to mind and wondering if anyone can answer? The architectural style and tile roof tells me Japanese 1930's, but
I'm uncertain. Was it shown on the 1944 map posted by Misty in the link in one of the previous posts?

When was the USTDC building built?


Don said...

I recently received an amazing photo from Sarj that I'll be posting in a day or so. It's an aerial view of the whole TDC complex as it appeared sometime in the late 1950s.

I've looked at the photo and the 1945 map and they don't appear to match. However, the USTDC building looks like it may have been added onto a few times, so I wouldn't rule out the possibility.

Japan ruled Taiwan from 1895 to 1945, so your 1930s guess could very well be true, especially if the original structure was added onto. They would likely have tried to match the original design.

Of course it's always possible that I'm dead wrong.

Anonymous said...

If I remember correctly, there were several markers around TDC and HSA compounds that marked the high water marks from Gloria.

One was on your right as you went up the stairs to the commissary and there was another somewhere near the entrance to the Exchange.

Friends of ours had arrived in Taipei just days ahead of Gloria and were staying in a hotel. They
looked out their window during Gloria and just caught sight of the top of their new car as it went under water. Welcome to Taipei!!!

Jim Sartor

Don said...

I just noticed that the building windows were all boarded up in these photos, which was (and still is) common practice whenever typhoons/hurricanes are headed your way. Note the spray-painted markings on each board so the workers would know which board to place over each window.

Jim, I think you're correct about the water lines. I vaguely remember them.

George, I don't know when the building was first constructed, but I think that I once heard it was built by the Japanese.