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Hurrican destroyed Galveston in 1900. Worst disaster in American history.

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09/12/2008 07:30 PM
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Hurrican destroyed Galveston in 1900. Worst disaster in American history.
It's true. I read about in in the Smithsonian magazine. It was like the mother of all perfect storms!
Those who don't study history are DOOMED to repeat it.

Hurricane destroyed Galveston in 1900

[link to www.cnn.com]
CNN) -- The worst weather disaster in American history took place in Galveston, Texas, in 1900 when a hurricane estimated as a Category 4 intensity blew ashore, killing thousands of residents and obliterating the town.

The unnamed storm was first detected in the Atlantic on August 27, reaching Cuba as a tropical storm on September 3. Like Ike, the hurricane crossed Cuba and entered the Gulf of Mexico, crashing ashore just south of Galveston on September 8.

Galveston Island was completely covered by 8- to 16-foot storm tides. Estimates of the death toll range from 6,000 to 12,000, and property damage was estimated at $30 million.

Galveston in 1900 was a rich shipping city, home to nearly 40,000 people, many of them made wealthy by Galveston's position as Texas' chief port. But they weren't prepared for September 8.

The flood waters began rising before dawn that morning, and initially the people of Galveston thought nothing of it. For the most part, they even ignored the warnings of U.S. Weather Service meteorologist Isaac Cline, who took to his horse and rode up and down the beach warning people to seek higher ground, an urging that ultimately meant little to a city 8 to 9 feet above sea level at its highest point.

"In reality, there was no island, just the ocean with houses standing out of the waves which rolled between them," Cline wrote in his 1945 memoirs.

Ironically, Cline had argued against building a sea wall in Galveston, saying it was unnecessary and that a storm of any significant strength, in any event, would never strike the island.

The gargantuan storm tides collapsed houses along the beach front and turned them into a wall of debris that pushed further inland on the island. At its final stopping point, the debris kept buildings beyond it from collapse, but not from damage. In the aftermath, everything was bulldozed for 15 blocks from the beach.

... more at link

Last Edited by LJS on 08/27/2015 12:51 PM