HOUSTON, Texas (KIAH) It is the year 1900 on this day. Galveston is a thriving, prosperous port city, full of potential and Texas firsts. Galveston is the birth-city of the first Texas medical college, electric lights, public library, and even streetcars! This was the South’s “Hot Spot” the “Place to be”, all until September 8th of that year.
The forecast was WAY off. The Galveston Hurricane made landfall unnamed and without warning. Forecasters had it heading toward the South Florida coast three days before the devastation in Galveston. This Hurricane still holds as the deadliest natural disaster in American history. Taking anywhere between 6,000- 10,000 lives. For perspective, that is about 5Xs more deaths than Hurricane Katrina. The hurricane is recorded to have been a category 4 at landfall with winds at 135+ mph. Over 3,600 buildings were destroyed by winds and surge up to 15ft. The highest point of the city at the time was 9ft above sea level.
This sparked the need for change. After the deadly hurricane Texas was searching for answers. How can we protect this city? One year later, On September 7th, 1901, legislature approved the first step for building the seawall that is iconic to Galveston island to this day, 120 years later.
Stay tuned with CW39 No Wait Weather + Traffic THIS morning for The Anniversary of The Galveston Hurricane of 1900. We will be live along the seawall recapping this historic event.