Reflection: There have been so many deadly hurricanes and the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 was perhaps one of the most deadly that this country has ever seen. September 8, 1900 Galveston was headed for a night of terror. This was a monster hurricane packing winds of up to 135 miles per hour. It was a category 4 storm and it propelled a fifteen-foot surge of water. This was considered one of the deadliest storms in America’s history!! In the aftermath of the storm the city of Galveston built a sea wall to help protect the city against future storms. Another important aspect that the city of Galveston now has in place is an emergency evacuation system. This is an important aspect of hurricane survival and perhaps something that was learned because of the enormous amount of people who lost their lives during the 1900 Hurricane.
The pictures reflect the devastation that Galveston woke up to the morning after.
Prior Knowledge: Since as far back as I can remember hurricanes have always been a scary yet amazing weather phenomenon. I have often wondered how people can dedicate themselves to becoming hurricane trackers because this required that you get as close as possible to the hurricane’s eye. The eye of the storm is considered to be perhaps the most dangerous part of the storm. The eye of the storm is the most recognizable part of the hurricane. The eye can be found at the center of the storm and often is between 20-50km in diameter.
Strangely enough the eye of the storm is usually the focus of the hurricane since this is the part of the storm where it rotates and where the lowest pressure of the storm can be found. The Galveston Hurricane of 1900 was no exception.
Personal Information and Ideas: Can the outcome of such tragedy’s change if we were better prepared? Let’s reflect on some things that perhaps can help us understand these types of storms.
How accurate are the readings being received by the technology tracking the hurricanes? Is our technology today where it needs to be to accurately track and report these hurricanes? The National Hurricane Center is an organization
that specializes in storm tracking. This website is notifying authorities and the public on a minute-by-minute basis as it tracks the hurricanes. The image below gives us a brief overview of everything the National Hurricane Center is reporting on.
2. Can we ever truly predict what Mother Nature will do? Although there is no way of truly knowing if Mother Nature can or cannot be predictable I would have to say that is can’t be. There have been many times where storms are being tracked when all of a sudden it begins to take a different course. In these cases it is when people are the most vulnerable because if a storm is headed for Houston and then all of a sudden it takes a turn to Galveston like in our scenario, then the people will not have as much time to prepare because they weren’t expecting the storm to head their way.
3. What are the mistakes made during the Galveston Hurricane that we can learn from? Sadly enough it is reported that the people living in Galveston at the time of the great hurricane of 1900 had little to no warning! I understand that perhaps the technology wasn’t there like it is today so perhaps that played a huge role! Sadly enough so many people, because they had weathered storms before in Galveston decided to ride out the storm not knowing that this storm was one like never before. Which leads me to my next questions.
4. Why aren't stricter rules, policies or procedures in place to "force" people to evacuate? From all accounts it was believed that the storm would not directly hit the Galveston coast so people did not see the urgency to evacuate early enough. When the weather centers started seeing that the storm was actually changing directions it was perhaps too late to get people to leave. People should not be allowed to ride out the storms regardless if the storms are severe or not. Often times people don’t believe the storms will directly hit where they are at, but because this type of weather phenomenon is so unpredictable people should not be allowed to stay home. People not wanting to leave all of their belongings behind is the type of mentality that can put people in harms way and ultimately be the reason they lose their life.
5. Are notifications being received/sent quickly enough to evacuate or are they being received too late? In some cases if the storm is allowed to be predictable the citizens can be notified with ample time to evacuate. I believe that several factors played a huge role in the loss of life during the Galveston Hurricane of 1900. First one being that people believed the hurricane was taking a different path, second people in that area had weathered storms before.
The Galveston Hurricane of 1900 was a monster hurricane packing winds of up to 135 miles per hour. This hurricane was classified as a Cat-4 Storm and it propelled a fifteen-foot surge of water.
The citizens of Galveston say this was a night of terror that quickly became a lasting part of Galveston’s identity. The death toll was devastating and will long be regarded as the deadliest storm in U.S. History.
Storm warning didn’t come into the Galveston area as quickly as they should. Citizens in Galveston had weathered storms before so they didn’t see this hurricane as a big threat. Initial warnings came in as a “Tropical Storm”. It wasn’t until it was too late that the people realized this was more than a tropical storm. Hurricanes have long since been an unpredictable part Earth.
Develop a problem statement:
Ultimately the large amount of lost lives was mainly due because during these times, the system in place to notify people of a hurricane was not nearly as sophisticated as what we now have in place. Another important factor is that people in Galveston were use to these storms.
Resources: The eye: The center of the storm. (2013, July 06). Retrieved from http://ww2010.atmos.uiuc.edu/(Gh)/guides/mtr/hurr/stages/cane/eye.rxml
The 1900 storm: Galveston, Texas. (2013, July 06). Retrieved from http://www.1900storm.com
National hurricane center. (2013, July 01). Retrieved from http://www.nhc.noaa.gov
The galveston hurricane of 1900. (2013, July 02). Retrieved from http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/galveston.htm