Galveston has history of hurricanes but many newcomers have yet to experience one

The deadliest hurricane occurred in 1900, measuring as a Category 4 with winds of 145 mph at landfall in Galveston, Texas. It became not only the deadliest hurricane in U.S. history, but also the nation’s deadliest weather event.

GALVESTON, Texas – Galveston has been ground zero for several hurricanes, priming its longtime residents for the dangers these monstrous storms may bring. However, a recent influx of newcomers to the Texas coast has yet to experience and prepare for such a storm.

The history of Galveston is a history of hurricanes, as a number of notable storms have struck the island city.

The deadliest one occurred in 1900, measuring as a Category 4 with winds of 145 mph at landfall. Known as the Great Galveston Hurricane, it killed between 6,000 and 12,000 people. It became not only the deadliest hurricane in U.S. history but also the nation’s deadliest weather event.

From the devastation came innovation as the people of Galveston rebuilt their town. Part of their rebuilding efforts involved creating the Galveston Sea Wall, a 17-foot-tall and 10-mile-long wall with the purpose of protecting the city from storm surge, one of the deadliest components of a hurricane.

The Galveston Seawall was put to the test more than 100 years after the Great Galveston Hurricane, when Hurricane Ike struck the city as a Category 2 hurricane in 2008. Waves hit the sea wall and came crashing down.

Today, however, locals and scientists are concerned about how the current high water temperatures may impact hurricane season for Galveston, particularly as a number of newcomers who are new to hurricanes have begun to call the Texas coastline home.

"We have so many new people that have moved into the area," extreme weather disaster scientist Hal Needham said during a FOX Weather "Cruisin’ Across America" interview with correspondent Robert Ray. "Probably more than 100,000 new people have moved into coastal Texas since Hurricane Ike in 2008."

"So, a lot of people have not experienced a hurricane before and really don't know what to do if one comes," Needham added.


"Cruisin’ Across America" is a weather series hosted by Ray, highlighting areas of the U.S. that have been impacted by weather events, along with their unique culture.

Kicking off in Jacksonville, Florida, on July 13, making stops in cities such as New Orleans, and ending on July 20 in Santa Monica, California, the weeklong series will cover a number of communities and the weather stories they have to tell.