Today in Texas History: Hurricane Devastates Galveston
Today in Texas History:
September 8th, 1900 Hurricane Devastates Galveston
On this day in 1900, a catastrophic hurricane struck the city of Galveston on the Texas coast. A third of the city was destroyed, and 6,000 to 8,000 people died. Galveston Island was completely inundated. Property loss was estimated at $30 million. The storm is considered the worst recorded natural disaster ever to strike the North American continent.
GALVESTON HURRICANE OF 1900. In Galveston on the rain-darkened and gusty morning of Saturday, September 8, 1900, newspaper readers saw, on page three of the local Daily News (see GALVESTON NEWS), an early-morning account of a tropical hurricane prowling the Gulf of Mexico. On the previous day Galveston had been placed under a storm warning by the central office of the Weather Bureau (now the National Weather Service) in Washington, D.C. A one-column headline announced, “Storm in the Gulf.” Under that, a small subhead proclaimed, “Great Damage Reported on Mississippi and Louisiana Coasts-Wires Down-Details Meagre.” The story, only one paragraph long, had been sent out of New Orleans at 12:45 A.M. that same day, but it added nothing to the information presented in the headlines. Additional details were unavailable “owing to the prostration of the wires.” Beneath the New Orleans report appeared a brief local story: “At midnight the moon was shining brightly and the sky was not as threatening as earlier in the night. The weather bureau had no late advice as to the storm’s movements and it may be that the tropical disturbance has changed its course or spent its force before reaching Texas.”