Weather Center

Remembering the Great Storm of 1900

By Jennifer Norris 9.2.15

The Great Storm. It’s what the most devastating hurricane in Texas history is often called. On Sept. 8, 1900, a Category 4 hurricane tore across Galveston, Texas, causing a 15-foot storm surge that flooded the city. It destroyed buildings and land, and killed an estimated 6,000 to 12,000 people.

This hurricane is still considered to be one of the worst weather disasters in American history. Residents and tourists were warned to move to higher ground, but many did not listen or were unprepared for the storm’s magnitude. Fortunately, that was then.

Today, the National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center closely monitors hurricanes and tropical storms. As a result, residents and visitors have ample warning about possible storm events, and they have access to more information on the safety precautions to take in case a hurricane occurs.

And that’s not all. Here are more ways Galveston residents are better protected from hurricanes today than in 1900:

ŸSince The Great Storm, Galveston has built a sea wall to help combat storm surge flooding, the leading cause of destruction from a hurricane. The city raised the elevation of the area approximately 17 feet, and it recently installed a water pumping station to guarantee access to clean water soon after a disaster.

ŸThe Texas Department of Transportation has developed evacuation routes to direct commuters to high ground in an orderly and seamless fashion. The agency has even used social media to ensure it communicates with as many residents as possible, all in an effort to be more prepared.

ŸThose living in the coastal region have access to adequate insurance coverage. However, Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent Marie Lee-Rodriguez in Harris County points out some homeowners insurance policies in Texas Gulf Coast counties don’t cover damage caused by windstorm, hurricane, and hail. She suggests contacting your local agent and inquiring about windstorm coverage, including wind-driven rain and flood insurance.

With a few precautions, residents of the Texas Gulf Coast can enjoy coastal living and stay safe during hurricane season.

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation. © 2015 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance.