Galveston and the Great Storm of 1900 - SHOCK

People in Galveston realized that a significant storm was impacting their community on the 8th of September, 1900, but they had no idea that a massive storm surge would also sweep across their barrier island. This illustration, "Drowning of Galveston Sufferers by the Tidal Wave," is from The Complete Story of the Galveston Horror, edited by John Coulter and published by United Publishers of America in 1900. The 1900 copyright, held by E.E. Sprague, has since lapsed. 


By 5:00 p.m. on September 8th, winds had reached hurricane speed as the water kept rising:

A storm velocity was not attained until about 1 p.m. after which the wind increased steadily and reached a hurricane velocity about 5 p.m.

When the wind reached 100 miles per hour, at 6:15, the wind gauge blew away. People were killed as flying debris became bullets. At 7:30 Galveston was about to be drowned. Isaac describes it:

The water rose at a steady rate from 3:00 p.m. until about 7:30 p.m. when there was a sudden rise of about four feet in as many seconds. I was standing at my front door which was partly open watching the water which was flowing with great rapidity from east to west. The water at this time was about eight inches deep in my residence and the sudden rise of four feet brought it above my waist before I could change my position.

The water had now reached a stage 10 feet above the ground ... where my residence stood...The tide rose during the next hour between 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. nearly five feet additional, making a total tide in that locality of about 20 feet.

Isaac's house, where about fifty people were trying to survive, was jerked from its foundations.

And at 8:30 p.m. my residence went down with about 50 persons who had sought it out for safety, and all but 18 were hurled into eternity. Among the lost was my wife who never rose above the water after the wreck of the building.

Isaac estimated the winds reached 120 mph just prior to 8 p.m.

Weeks later, Cora Cline's body surfaced. She had been underneath her home the whole time.

0 Question or Comment?
click to read or comment
2 Questions 2 Ponder
click to read and respond
0 It's Awesome!
vote for your favorite

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

Original Release: Dec 01, 2002

Updated Last Revision: Sep 12, 2017

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"SHOCK" AwesomeStories.com. Dec 01, 2002. Feb 17, 2020.
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Show tooltips