With the 2021 hurricane season here, we’re bringing back the Hurricane History series, examining some of the most influential hurricanes throughout history. In this iteration of Hurricane History, we will be covering the 1900 Galveston hurricane, the deadliest natural disaster in United States history.
The Galveston hurricane, also known as the Great Storm of 1900, was first detected on August 27, 1900, and made landfall in Galveston, Texas on September 8th. At landfall, it was a category four hurricane with wind speeds over 135 mph, destroying over 3,600 buildings and according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, had a death toll in the range from 6,000 to 12,000 with most citing 8,000 as the official number. The hurricane also marked the end for the recent economic prosperity Galveston saw, as many tourists became worried about the city and went to nearby Houston instead.
Experts say much of the casualties could’ve been avoided if proper communication was held in the days leading up to landfall. When the hurricane was first detected, the American Weather Bureau predicted it would pass through Florida and head north, which would prove to be very wrong. Cuba at the time had more advanced weather forecasters and predicted it would move towards the Gulf, however the Weather Bureau director had shut off communications between them and Cuba. Experts say if this channel was open, evacuation plans could’ve been done in advance.
We hope you found this information interesting and gave you more insight on the Great Storm. At AJS, we understand that hurricane season can be a stressful time, and we are here to help. For any lifting, reconstructing, or building, give us a call for a free consultation!