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The Great Galveston Disaster

  • For the survivors of the Galveston hurricane, there was no thought of property damage; those who had escaped with their families, losing all else, considered themselves blessed.

    On Saturday, September 8, 1900, one of the greatest storms in United States history hit the small island of Galveston, Texas. Now known as a Texas resort town, Galveston was once a thriving industrial city. It was the first Texas city to have electricity and, as one of its largest ports, was often referred to as the NewYork of the South. Author Paul Lester, Galveston Tribune journalist and editor Richard Spillane, and Isaac Monroe Cline, chief of the U.S. Weather Bureau, watched as the storm destroyed the city. Richard Spillane was ordered by the mayor to warn ships in the harbor and spread the news to other towns. Isaac Monroe Cline raised the hurricane warning flag on Friday, but even he was unable to forsee a storm of such magnitude: a category four by todayís standards. Mr. Cline lost his pregnant wife and children to the hurricane. These stories and the stories of all those who survived the great Galveston hurricane, which cost between eight and twelve thousand Galveston residents their lives and caused more than seven million dollars in damage (approximately seven hundred million today), attest to humanityís ability to overcome even the most horrific disasters.

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