THE GREAT STORM
ORIGINAL PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE DEVASTATING HURRICANE OF SEPTEMBER 8, 1900
ROSENBERG LIBRARY GALVESTON, TEXAS
The hurricane of September 8, 1900 destroyed Galveston, Texas. As the nationâ€™s deadliest recorded natural disaster, the 1900 Storm claimed upwards of 8,000 lives on Galveston Island and several thousand more on the mainland. Sustained winds were recorded up to 84 miles per hour with wind gusts reaching an estimated 120 miles per hour. A storm surge with a maximum depth of 15.7 feet covered every part of the city. The 1900 Storm destroyed 2,636 houses and wrecked about a thousand more. Property losses in Galveston ran an estimated $28-30 million. Buildings that were not destroyed sustained heavy damage.
Rising waters from the Gulf of Mexico and Galveston Bay met in the cityâ€™s east end that Saturday afternoon. Persons who didnâ€™t leave their homes close to the Gulf were trapped and most likely drowned. By nightfall, Galveston lost electrical power and contact with the outside world. As the winds and water subsided, they left the remnants of a once-great city. Remarkably, there was little looting as authorities placed the city under martial law. Despite later claims, only a handful of individuals were executed for robbing valuables from bodies. An effort to bury at sea approximately 750 bodies aboard barges was unsuccessful, requiring workers to burn hundreds of bodies in funeral pyres as they removed piles of wreckage.
SEARCHING FOR THE DEAD, SUNDAY MORNING (ON THE STRAND)
RECOVERING A BODY BURIED UNDER DEBRIS
18TH AND AVENUE N LOOKING NORTHEAST
BARGE CARRYING BODIES OUT TO SEA TWO DAYS AFTER THE STORM
BARGES TRANSPORTING THE DECEASED FOR BURIAL AT SEA
MAN IDENTIFYING HIS WIFE BY HER RINGS
TEMPORARY GRAVES ALONG THE BARREN SHORES
CARRYING THE DEAD AT 22ND STREET WHARF
REMOVING THE JEWELRY OF VICTIMS EAST BEACH