Remembering Galveston Hurricane of 1915 century later

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HOUSTON – Monday marks the 100-year anniversary of a major hurricane that rocked Galveston.

It is simply called the 1915 Galveston Hurricane because the practice of naming hurricanes was not adopted until decades later. The storm hit Galveston early in the morning as a strong, category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 135 miles per hour.

The storm is responsible for 275 deaths overall. Eleven people were killed in the city of Galveston. It was the first major hurricane to hit Galveston after the city's seawall was built, and it proved the seawall's effectiveness as a safeguard against against hurricanes and tropical storms.

The seawall was built in response to the catastrophic 1900 hurricane that destroyed the city and killed thousands in Galveston. While the 1915 hurricane was comparable in strength to its predecessor in 1900, the seawall hindered flooding and significantly minimized damage by comparison.

The storm developed in the open Atlantic Ocean in early August. It began to impact the islands of the Lesser Antilles on Aug. 10. After causing damage to Jamaica and Cuba, it entered the Gulf of Mexico on Aug. 12 as a category 4 storm. It hit Galveston at its peak intensity before quickly dissipating over land and moving toward the northeastern U.S. and Canada.

The hurricane caused an estimated $50 million damage, in 1915 dollars, in the U.S.


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Meteorologist, runner, triathlete and proud Houstonian.