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Lyda Ann Thomas, Former Galveston Mayor, Dies At 80

The “Hurricane Mayor,” who shepherded Galveston through the threat of Hurricane Rita and the devastation of Hurricane Ike, has died.

Galveston, TX, October 6, 2008 -- FEMA Branch Director Gerry Stolar meets with Galveston Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas concerning the island's recovery following Hurricane Ike. The storm caused severe wind and flood damage all along the southeast Texas coast when it made landfall on September 13th, 2008
Galveston, TX, October 6, 2008 — FEMA Branch Director Gerry Stolar meets with Galveston Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas concerning the island’s recovery following Hurricane Ike. The storm caused severe wind and flood damage all along the southeast Texas coast when it made landfall on September 13th, 2008

Lyda Ann Thomas, the former Galveston mayor who became nationally known for her calm leadership during hurricanes Rita and Ike, has died.

A child of one the city’s founding families, Thomas was known for her civic service.

She served as a chairman and member of the Galveston Park Board of Trustees from 1993 to 1996.

Thomas was elected to the Galveston City Council in 1998, and was elected mayor in 2004.

She became known as the “Hurricane Mayor” after shepherding the city through the threat of Hurricane Rita and the devastation of Hurricane Ike. Mayor Thomas’ leadership during the hurricane was so widely acclaimed that the National Council of Readiness and Preparedness (NCORP) came to Galveston to learn from her and to recognize the city’s leadership.

Thomas’ death was confirmed by her family.

She was 80.

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