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Galveston and the Great Storm of 1900 - DESTRUCTION EVERYWHERE

DESTRUCTION EVERYWHERE (Illustration) Famous Historical Events Famous People Film Geography History Social Studies STEM Tragedies and Triumphs Disasters

This image, entitled “Homes Ruined and Families Killed,” is from The Complete Story of the Galveston Horror, Written by the Survivors, edited by John Coulter and published, in 1900, by E. E. Sprague. It appears at page 305 of the book which is online, via Project Gutenberg. Click on the image for a better view.

 

The Great Storm of 1900—the link is a BBC animation on hurricane formation—was no respecter of persons or buildings. Whether residential or commercial, solidly built houses and other structures were wiped away as easily as one pushes paper from a desktop.

The Grand Hotel was no longer grand in the wake of the storm. The exterior wall of Trinity Episcopal Church looked as though it had never existed.

How quickly everything happened—within a few hours—made the catastrophe even more terrifying. Yet, there were remarkable survival stories. Twenty-eight people, crammed together in the second-story room of an otherwise demolished apartment building, survived.

When the storm passed, and daylight returned, Galveston survivors saw neighborhoods of flattened homes. The heavily populated area of 23rd Street and Avenue P was a pitiful sight.

What was under the wreckage? Countless bodies, awaiting discovery and identification.

The relentless wind, coupled with the storm surge, guaranteed total destruction of many homes. On October 9, 1900 a report would be filed showing only a small segment of the total losses. They were staggering.

As the storm hit the mainland, its ferocity lessened but it did not die until days later when it passed over Nova Scotia. It was the deadliest hurricane to ever strike the United States.

To this day, it remains America's worst natural disaster.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5124stories and lessons created

Original Release: Dec 01, 2002

Updated Last Revision: Sep 25, 2015


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