THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 7 - THE GALVESTON HURRICANE OF 1900


Tomorrow is the 100-year anniversary of the greatest natural disaster in United States history, as measured by loss of life: the Galveston Hurricane of 1900. At least 6000 people drowned on this Texas Island in this one hurricane.

The storm was not forecast by the United States Weather Bureau for many reasons. There weren't many observations from over the ocean, and many forecasters misinterpreted the available data. Plus, the hurricane had hit Cuba just days before. Unfortunately, communications were banned between United States and rival Cuban meteorologists.

When the hurricane hit Galveston, winds above 100 mph pushed 20-foot deep ocean waters across the island. In a few hours, vast sections of the city were scoured clean of any man-made structure. In the years following, Galveston was rebuilt, with one important addition: a mammoth 17-foot-tall, three-mile-wide sea wall to protect the city from future storms.

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