THE GALVESTON HURRICANE

The worst hurricane in U.S History

Disaster Strikes..

There was little to no warning of the storm. The weather had been very warm and humid for the days leading up to the storm, and on the day before the disaster the water began to swell onto the island. Cuba had sent out a report to the US weather bureau that the hurricane had already passed the Cuban citizens and would come up through Texas and into San Antonio. The water had begun to rise onto the land, but it was so small and gradual that none of the citizens paid any care. The clouds began to cover the area, but no body did anything, despite the warnings. Only a few citizens evacuated onto the mainland. It had begun to rain by late that afternoon and the water began to swell even higher. The wind got up to 145 m/ph and the water came up to 15 feet high, this had caused much damage by destroying houses and tossing debris; this was an island that was virtually flat and at sea level. The death toll was at around 8,000–12,000 people, along with many animals such as horses, donkeys and dogs. This was actually the 2nd costliest storm that the US has seen, costing about $99.4 billion.



Food & Water

Before the storm there wasn’t much warning so normal life had gone by. The storm was not actually very long, only a few hours long, but the effects were great. The sea water swept in and filled all of the wells with bad water and made it undrinkable. There were actually bodies that filled some of the wells. The food was mostly gone because pantries were kept downstairs and the water flooded every home and took the food with the water. After the storm the citizens mostly ate uncooked food and bread, going with little or no water for a few days. After a while Red Cross shipped supplies to them because the bridge was broken.

Energy

From the start, Galveston didn't have much energy,but instead used simple trains and a few automobiles. However, the storm was so unexpected that most of the trains and cars were washed off shore and few managed to make it through the full blow of the storm.After the storm, and the buildings near the sea were raise onto still and a 16 foot tall sea wall was built to protect the future power plants.



Ecosystem (abiotic)

The water levels rose very high causing the need to raise the city and build a sea wall. The wind levels never increased ever as much as it did that day. The wind levels stayed fairly even, (as much as an island city would). After the storm, apart from the debris and destruction, the sand settled down back to what it was. The temperature of Galveston went back to being warm after the storm (during the storm it was freezing). The only thing that really changed was the water levels which became a benefit in the long run. The city realized its problems due to the water levels and built the wall as well as raising the city



Ecosystem (biotic)

The high winds affected anything in the air including the birds and there were many in Galveston due to living along the coast. The roaring waters also contributed to the major loss of ocean life, you could see so many animals (dogs, cats, and horses etc.) abandoned in houses perishing in the process. People forgot about their property, including the animals, and abandoned all things so they could evacuate. The ecosystem around lost all balance and would only heal given time. It would eventually balance out to what it is today.



Humans

The dead bodies were so numerous that burying them all was impossible. The dead were attached to weights and thrown out to sea, but when the gulf currents washed many of the bodies back onto the beach, a new solution was needed. Funeral pyres were set up wherever the dead were found and burned for weeks after the storm. The authorities passed out free whiskey to sustain the distraught men doing the work of collecting and burning the dead. In order to be safe, many improvements were made for the long-term effect. They build a seawall around the entire island, and just in case, all buildings near the sea were put on stills.

Overall,

Hurricane Galveston was the worst natural disaster in US history. Compared to Katrina, Galveston was much worse, based on the casualties count. While Galveston had nearly 7,000, Katrina only had 1,800. Impacts included an increase in hurricane safety, and being more efficient in evacuation in case of another hurricane or natural disaster. Hurricane Katrina didn't do near enough damage as Galveston did. The impact of this hurricane left Galveston stronger and safer due to more awareness of such disasters.