The Great Galveston hurricane, known regionally as the Great Storm of 1900, was the deadliest natural disaster in United States history, one of the deadliest hurricanes to affect Canada, and the fourth-deadliest Atlantic hurricane overall.
A natural disaster is a major adverse event resulting from natural processes of the Earth; examples include floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, and other geologic processes.
A look back at the devastating 1900 Galveston hurricane by Fox News
The hurricane left between 6,000 and 12,000 fatalities in the United States; the number most cited in official reports is 8,000.
The 1900 "Great Storm" and Raising Galveston. by The History Guy: History Deserves to Be Remembered
Most of these deaths occurred in and near Galveston, Texas, after storm surge inundated the coastline with 8 to 12 ft of water.
A storm surge is a coastal flood or tsunami-like phenomenon of rising water commonly associated with low pressure weather systems, the severity of which is affected by the shallowness and orientation of the water body relative to storm path, and the timing of tides.
Galveston is a coastal resort city and port off the southeast coast on Galveston Island and Pelican Island in the American State of Texas.
Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population.
In addition to the number killed, the storm destroyed about 7,000 buildings of all uses in Galveston, which included 3,636 destroyed homes; every dwelling in the city suffered some degree of damage.
The hurricane left approximately 10,000 people in the city homeless, out of a total population of nearly 38,000.
The disaster ended the Golden Era of Galveston, as the hurricane alarmed potential investors, who turned to Houston instead.
In response to the storm, three engineers designed and oversaw plans to raise the Gulf of Mexico shoreline of Galveston island by 17 ft and erect a 10 mi seawall.
A seawall is a form of coastal defense constructed where the sea, and associated coastal processes, impact directly upon the landforms of the coast.
The Gulf of Mexico is an ocean basin and a marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean, largely surrounded by the North American continent.
Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a federal republic in the southern half of North America.
On August 27, 1900, a ship east of the Windward Islands detected a tropical cyclone, the first observed during the annual season.
A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain.
The Windward Islands, also known as the Islands of Barlovento, are the southern, generally larger islands of the Lesser Antilles, within the West Indies.
Initially at tropical storm status, it remained mostly stagnant in intensity while moving steadily west-northwestward and entered the northeastern Caribbean Sea on August 30.
The storm made landfall in the Dominican Republic as a weak tropical storm on September 2. It weakened slightly while crossing Hispaniola, before re-emerging into the Caribbean Sea later that day.
The Dominican Republic is a sovereign state occupying the eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region.
Hispaniola is the 22nd-largest island in the world, located in the Caribbean island group, the Greater Antilles.
On September 3, the cyclone struck modern day Santiago de Cuba Province and then slowly drifted along the southern coast of Cuba.
Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city of Cuba and capital city of Santiago de Cuba Province in the south-eastern area of the island, some 870 km south-east of the Cuban capital of Havana.
Cuba, officially the Republic of Cuba, is a unitary sovereign state comprising the island of Cuba as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelagos.
Upon reaching the Gulf of Mexico on September 6, the storm strengthened into a hurricane.
Significant intensification followed and the system peaked as a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 145 mph on September 8. Early on the next day, it made landfall to the south of Houston, Texas.
The cyclone weakened quickly after moving inland and fell to tropical storm intensity late on September 9. The storm turned east-northeastward and became extratropical over Iowa on September 11.
Iowa is a U.S. state in the Midwestern United States, bordered by the Mississippi River on the east and the Missouri River and the Big Sioux River on the west.
The extratropical system strengthened while accelerating across the Midwestern United States, New England, and Eastern Canada before reaching the Gulf of Saint Lawrence on September 13.
New England is a geographical region which comprises six states of the northeastern United States: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
The Midwestern United States, also referred to as the American Midwest, Middle West, or simply the Midwest, is one of four census regions of the United States Census Bureau.
Eastern Canada is generally considered to be the region of Canada east of Manitoba, consisting of the following provinces:
After striking Newfoundland later that day, the extratropical storm entered the far North Atlantic Ocean and weakened, with the remnants last observed near Iceland on September 15.
The Republic of Iceland, Lýðveldið Ísland in Icelandic, is a Nordic island country in the North Atlantic Ocean.
The great storm brought flooding and severe thunderstorms to portions of the Caribbean, especially Cuba and Jamaica.
A thunderstorm, also known as an electrical storm or a lightning storm, is a storm characterized by the presence of lightning and its acoustic effect on the Earth's atmosphere, known as thunder.
It is likely that much of South Florida experienced tropical storm-force winds, though mostly minor damage occurred.
Hurricane-force winds and storm surge inundated portions of southern Louisiana, though the cyclone left no significant structural damage or fatalities in the state.
The hurricane brought strong winds and storm surge to a large portion of east Texas, with Galveston suffering the brunt of the impact.