Galveston Hurricane

William McKinley

Definition and Summary of the Galveston Hurricane
Summary and Definition: The Galveston Hurricane hit on Saturday September 8, 1900, in the city of Galveston in Texas. The Galveston hurricane had estimated winds of 145 miles per hour and caused the loss of many thousands of lives and the destruction of millions of dollars worth of property. The devastating hurricane was the deadliest in the history of the United States and went on to ravage other parts of Central and Western Texas.

1900 Galveston Hurricane for kids
William McKinley was the 25th American President who served in office from March 4, 1897 to September 14, 1901. One of the important events during his presidency was the devastation of the 1900 Galveston Hurricane in Texas.


Galveston Hurricane 1900

The 1900 Galveston Hurricane for kids: The City
The city of Galveston, Texas in the late 1800's was a flourishing town with a population of 36,000 residents, a center of trade and the biggest city in the state of Texas. Galveston was built on a low, flat island in a bay along the along the Gulf of Mexico.

The 1900 Galveston Hurricane: Disaster in Texas
The devastating hurricane brought with it a storm surge of over 15 feet which washed over the entire island. A sea wall had never been built so there was no protection from the destruction of the hurricane and over 3,600 homes were destroyed. It is estimated that 20% (1 in 5) of the population, nearly 8000 people, were killed in the deadly storm. So many people were killed by the Galveston Hurricane that proper burials were impossible and the bodies were piled into carts and buried at sea.

The 1900 Galveston Hurricane for kids: Hurricane Ike
Just over 100 years after the tragedy on September 13, 2008, the eye of Hurricane Ike hit the east end of Galveston Island with another high storm surge. Hurricane Ike overtopped the Galveston Seawall for the first time since it was built in 1902 after the Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900. 

Galveston Hurricane Facts for kids: The Path of the Hurricane
It began on August 27th as a tropical storm in the central Atlantic followed a path to the West Indies reaching Cuba on September 3rd and 4th. It intensified during September 5th and 6th when it reached hurricane status as it passed just west of Florida and it then moved towards the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the coast of Texas.

Galveston Hurricane Facts for kids: Fact Sheet
Interesting description and facts about the Galveston Hurricane are detailed in the Fact Sheet. The history of Galveston Hurricane is told in a factual sequence consisting of a series of short facts providing a simple method of relating the history, events and effects of the 1900 Galveston Hurricane in Texas, United States.

Galveston Hurricane Facts and History for kids

Galveston Hurricane Fact 1: Dr. Isaac M. Cline, the meteorologist in charge of the local Weather Bureau, lived on Galveston Island sent a telegram to Washington, DC, predicting that a large part of the city was going to be flooded and would cause a major loss of life.

Galveston Hurricane Fact 2: Dr. Cline rode a horse-drawn buggy to warn people to move to safer, higher ground. Forty-eight people took shelter in Dr. Cline's house but to no avail. 32 of the 48 people drowned in the storm surge, including the wife of Dr. Cline.

Galveston Hurricane Fact 3: In the short space of just 4 hours the entire site of the city was covered by water destroying homes, businesses, warehouses, stores, public buildings and churches. The gale lasted for a total of 8 hours

Galveston Hurricane Fact 4: Railroad tracks, telegraphs, telephone lines and bridges were also torn down and debris was hurled around the city making it almost impossible for people to pass.

Galveston Hurricane Fact 5: The people were absolutely terrified. A Black darkness fell on the city and the howls of the winds of the hurricane, the crashing of buildings and the screams and the cries of people filled the air.

Galveston Hurricane Fact 6: People watched in helpless horror as friends and family, including children, drowned in front of their eyes.

Galveston Hurricane Fact 7: After the devastation, there was a delay in relief workers reaching the area - transportation by train was not possible due to the destruction of the railroad tracks.

Galveston Hurricane Fact 8: To the horror of the residents there were many instances of looting following the disaster and government troops were called in. Looters found with stolen items in their possession were lined them up against a brick wall and shot without ceremony.

Galveston Hurricane Fact 9: Thousands of dead animals and people lay dead in the streets and in the shattered wreckage of their homes. Decomposition set in giving rise to an unbearable stench. The ground was water-logged making burials difficult. Of all the fatalities only 500 people were buried in the city, many were buried on the beach, the majority of corpses were cremated or buried at sea.

Galveston Hurricane Fact 10: Literally thousands of bodies were thrown into carts, loaded on to barges, taken a few miles out to sea where the corpses were weighted and thrown into the water for a burial at sea.


Galveston Hurricane Facts and History for kids

Galveston Hurricane Facts for kids
Interesting history and the Galveston Hurricane Facts for kids are continued below.

Galveston Hurricane Facts and History for kids

Galveston Hurricane Fact 11: The cremations were also conducted without ceremony. The bodies were piled into heaps consisting of 20 - 40 corpses, saturated with kerosene and set on fire.

Galveston Hurricane Fact 12: The burials at sea and the unceremonious cremations were the only options.  There there was a genuine fear that disease and pestilence would kill the remaining survivors of the hurricane.

Galveston Hurricane Fact 13: Refugees fled to Houston, Texas and Texas City where they were fed and housed by people of the cities or provided with Tents. A relief fund was set up and donations were received from all over the United States and other countries of the world.

Galveston Hurricane Fact 14: Many eye witness reported that the town was irreparably wrecked and beyond repair - 75% of the buildings had been completely destroyed. The people proved them all wrong.

Galveston Hurricane Fact 15: Provisions, clothing, disinfectants and medicines were sent to Galveston and the clean-up and re-building process began

Galveston Hurricane Fact 16: It was initially estimated that $2.5 million dollars would be needed for the relief work - the cost came to over $20 million dollars in 1900 - equivalent to billions in modern terms. It was the second costliest hurricane in US history, second only to Katrina.

Galveston Hurricane Fact 17: Hurricane Katrina in 2005 claimed 1,836 lives and cost $113.4 billion dollars. Ike in 2008 cost $ 29.5 billion dollars.

Galveston Hurricane Fact 18: In April 1901, Galveston introduced the commission system of government  replacing the mayor and city council. a major step in the Progressive Movement

Galveston Hurricane Fact 19: The Galveston Hurricane in Texas remains the deadliest hurricane in United States history. In April 1901, Galveston introduced the commission system of government  replacing the mayor and city council.

Galveston Hurricane Fact 20: Another terrible natural disaster would America in 1906 - the San Francisco Earthquake

Galveston Hurricane Facts and History for kids

Galveston Hurricane - President William McKinley Video
The article on the Galveston Hurricane provides detailed facts and a summary of one of the important events during his presidential term in office. The following William McKinley video will give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 25th American President whose presidency spanned from March 4, 1897 to September 14, 1901.

Galveston Hurricane History and Facts

● Interesting Facts about Galveston Hurricane for kids and schools
● Summary of the deadliest of all the hurricanes in US history
● Description and effect of the Galveston Hurricane
● William McKinley from March 4, 1897 to September 14, 1901
● Fast, stats and facts about the disaster
● Foreign & Domestic policies of President William McKinley
● William McKinley Presidency and the Galveston Hurricane for schools, homework, kids and children

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