Fatal mistakes by the weather bureau’s central administration who never wanted to use the word “extreme,” or to consider any storm information out of Cuba, led to the worst hurricane in U.S. history Sept. 8, 1900 in Galveston, TX.
August starts the peak hurricane season, a period that runs from June l to Nov. 30th. I pay particular attention to Florida storms. Two of my sons live on opposite coasts. Experts report (NOAA being tops for their predications) there may be “slightly” more than coming on land than last year.
Eric Larson, the author of Beasts in the Garden, the WWII non-fiction about the U.S. ambassador to Germany at the beginning of Hitler’s rise to power, has tackled telling the tale of this incredible hurricane which hit the gulf of Texas. His main character, Isaac Cline, the resident meteorologist, fails to predict the power of the strange deep sea swells and peculiar winds that morning.
Although he tries to warn the townspeople when he finally realizes what is going to happen, hours later Galveston is submerged, the town destroyed , washed away, the great wall they thought would hold, crumbled. Six thousand dead are killed and their bodies rise up through the debris, even months later.
The town two years later builds a great wall 17′ above the beach, standing behind granite boulders 27′ wide in width. Other hurricanes come: 1915, 1949, 1983. Carla in 1961 caused mass evacuation of a quarter million from Galveston and the surrounds lowlands.
In Larson’s story of l900, based upon survivor’s information, relates emotions of several relationships and how they built just like hurricanes, especially like those between the two brother meteorologists.
It appears to me, a person who has lived in cellars during tornado season in Iowa, and now through the fire seasons in Washington state, the folks who live with hurricanes might be the people facing Mother Nature’s the most horrifying weather.