Galveston Hurricane of 1900
The Hurricane of 1900 in Galveston made landfall on September 8, 1900. It had winds of 145 miles per hour, making it a category 4 hurricane. The hurricane brought a 16 foot storm surge with it, causing widespread devastation. This hurricane was the deadliest natural disaster in US history, killing between 6,000 and 12,000 people.
The majority of the structures on the island were destroyed. This allowed soil to move very easily, which led to the erosion of the coastline. Many animals perished in the storm and this led to the interruption of food chains and further loss of plant and animal life. As strong winds moved sand in the ocean, ocean life was destroyed due to changes in salinity, lack of sunlight, and being buried under sand.
In an effort to rebuild the city, a 17 foot seawall was built on the Gulf Coast side of Galveston Island in order to prevent future storm surges from destroying the island. In addition, the city was sloped so that any water that accumulated during flooding would run back into the ocean. Many buildings were placed on jacks to prevent flooding and catwalks were built to make it easy to get from one building to the next in case of future flooding. The government also brought sand onto the island to rebuild the coastline that had eroded.