Galveston and the Great Storm of 1900 - Preface

Galveston and the Great Storm of 1900 (Illustration) Famous People Geography STEM Famous Historical Events Film Social Studies Disasters American History

Photograph depicting hurricane damage caused by the "Great Storm of 1900."  Created by Keystone View Company, and maintained at the Library of Congress, the image has this title:  "Seeking valuables in the wreckage, Galveston, Texas." 


Sunday, September 9th, 1900, revealed
one of the most horrible sights that
ever a civilized people looked upon.

Isaac Cline 
September 23, 1900

It was the peak of hurricane season - September 8, 1900. The waters of the Gulf of Mexico were hot.  Very hot.  Just the kind of hot a tropical storm needs to grow into a hurricane.

A storm that began in late August near the Cape Verde Islands, off Africa’s west coast, had reached Cuba by September 5th. In the days of primitive weather instruments, meteorologists on the island had developed an amazing ability to forecast major storms. They predicted this tropical storm would intensify when it left Cuba.

Those Cuban forecasters believed something else.  They were sure the storm would continue on its westward path, toward Texas.

Those early forecasters were right.  Due to the arrogance of some folks in the U.S. Weather Bureau, however, people in the direct path of the "Great Storm of 1900" didn’t know their lives and property were in grave danger.

When the storm reached Galveston, an island off the Texas shore, it temporarily buried the town and its people with sea water.  It is believed that over 8,000 people died within a few hours.

It remains the worst natural disaster in U.S. history.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Dec 01, 2002

Updated Last Revision: Sep 09, 2019

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"Galveston and the Great Storm of 1900" AwesomeStories.com. Dec 01, 2002. Feb 25, 2020.
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