Isaac Storm Essay

Isaac Storm Essay

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Isaac Storm

On Friday evening, September 7, 1900, many of the 37,000 residents of Galveston, Texas, were settling down to dinner, few if any of them concerned about the steady 15 mph northerly wind rattling their windows. Within 48 hours, at least 8,000 of the townspeople would be dead, victims of the single worst natural disaster in U.S. history. Relatively few people are aware that the deadliest natural disaster in the United States was the hurricane that struck Galveston Island on September 8, 1900. One of the best resources that can be found to help fully understand the significance of this storm is Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History by Erik Larson.
Dr. Isaac M. Cline was the chief of the U.S. weather Bureau's Galveston station located on the 3rd floor of the Levy Building which can still be found on the corner of Market and 23rd. Cline had begun tracking the storm from the Cape Verde Basin off the western coast of Africa. On August 31, this storm entered the Caribbean and began to increase in size. The hurricane passed just north of Cuba, and on Thursday September 6 entered the Gulf of Mexico. The projected course would have the storm make landfall well east of Galveston, but on Friday Dr. Cline became worried.
Cline noticed a continually rising tide in spite of a 15 mph wind from out of the north as well as decreasing pressure. At 12 o'clock midnight Saturday September 8, 1900 it began to rain in Galveston. By nine in the morning water was running calf deep a few blocks from the beach. The rising tide, driving wind, rain and storm surge broke apart the bathhouses on the beach. Citizens of Galveston began to comprehend the importance of the situation and started movin...

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...acts, in my opinion, revealed. The most shocking to me was the story of the nuns and children at St. Mary's Orphanage. The nuns tied the children together in groups in order to try to keep them together during the height of the storm. Their building gets washed away and later while rummaging for survivors a child is discovered buried in the sand with a clothesline tied around him. They followed the line and found a group of dead children tied together. All 3 nuns working at the orphanage along with 90 to 93 children died. I have been to Galveston many times and I guess this is why I was so interested in this book. I knew very little about the storm of 1900, but I feel very educated on the subject now.

Work Cited
Larson, Erik. Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History.
New York: Crown Publishing, 1999. 1-316.

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