Talk:1900 Galveston hurricane

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Former featured article 1900 Galveston hurricane is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
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From Wikipedia:Peer review[edit]

I massively expanded this article on the deadliest natural disaster in United States history, and no one else has touched it since. I'd just like someone to look it over and make sure I didn't screw it up. -- Cyrius| 01:57, 8 Aug 2004 (UTC)

The English prose style is abysmal, as it is in nearly all of these hurricane articles. I could quote examples for hours but let's just mention one: "12,000 individuals". Of course they are individuals! Unless you meant, "12,000 individuals and 10 pairs of conjoined twins." Someone needs to rewrite all of these weather articles to get them past the 9th grade composition level. There is also far too much linkage. The same thing does not need to be linked over and over again. And every tiny detail does not require its own link. That's hypertext abuse, and knowing how not to do it is critical for this project. Finally, please avoid techno-mumble such as saying again and again "Safford-Simpson blah blah blah". You can just say "Category 4" and have THAT phrase link to the article about the rating scale. Got it? Good. Antimatter33 (talk) 09:14, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
Another one I just spotted - ugh, double ugh: "1998's Hurricane Mitch". You made a year number into a possessive in an exposition? That's terrible!! My point is - it's not enough to get the facts right - you have to be able to write an exposition without sounding like a middling high school student. Antimatter33 (talk) 09:18, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
It says, "This was considered to be an exaggeration." By whom was it considered an exaggeration?
Great job! From the few History Channel and TLC programs I've seen about this event, I would have to say that this article covers all the basics well. If your intention is to put this through FAC, I think the article is ready for that. --mav
I don't know about FAC. It's just an important event and it was worrying me that nobody had so much as found a typo to fix. -- Cyrius| 05:44, 8 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Oh ya. I'd say you could remove the stub message and please add whatever references you used on this article in a ==References== section. Adding a ==Further reading== section would also be nice. --mav
I mistakenly left the stub message in at first (it was initially a stub), then I intentionally left it to see if anyone was paying attention :)
As far as references go, sources were either online or from memory. The three listed in External links form the bulk of the material. However, the local university library has a small pile of books on the subject, including Isaac's Storm and Isaac Cline's autobiography and some reprints of material from 1900. I'm just afraid that if I check them out, I'm going to end up writing even more on this depressing subject. -- Cyrius| 05:44, 8 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Headline text

Writing more would honor those who died. If you used the external links as references, then standard practice would be to have (also used as a reference) behind them. If all the info on the extranally-linked websites is already in the Wikipedia article, then move them into a ==References== section. Again, good work. --mav
One of the latest edits introduced some errors. Specifically http://en.wikipedia.org/w/wiki.phtml?title=Great_Galveston_Hurricane&diff=5314745&oldid=5279182

Merged badly with the second paragraph in the Destruction section. Cut and paste errors methinks, but I'm not sure how to fix it. Otherwise I like what I see and can't think of much else it needs so far. - Taxman 22:54, Aug 19, 2004 (UTC)

Whoops. I think I just got distracted and scrolled up to work on something else. -- Cyrius| 23:55, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I'm surprised you removed this from PR. I think it is a pretty good article now. A few more copyedits (eg removing inline comments) and I think it is ready for FAC. - Taxman 14:50, Aug 20, 2004 (UTC)
I wanted to let it sit and simmer for a while, and the PR page was getting fairly large, anyway. It's going to be the middle of next week before I can get to the library to check my spelling on those quotes against the source. I'm also working on getting stubs in for the red links. There were just too many links that went nowhere (that should have gone somewhere) for me. -- Cyrius| 17:37, 20 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Worst natural Disaster?[edit]

HI. This seems to be a contradiction, or at least I don't get it:

"The number most cited in official reports is 8,000, giving the storm the third-highest number of casualties of any Atlantic hurricane, after the Great Hurricane of 1780, and 1998's Hurricane Mitch. The Galveston Hurricane of 1900 is to date the deadliest natural disaster to strike the United States."

How can it be the deadliest natural disaster if it had less casualties than other storms? Am I missing something? --DanielCD 18:52, 29 Oct 2004 (UTC)

You're missing the fact that Atlantic hurricanes hit countries other than the United States. -- Cyrius| 19:28, 29 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Oh. That's true. Thanks. --DanielCD 19:52, 29 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Also, casualties might just have been injured, not necessarily killed. 66.92.237.111 04:09, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)
It's just the geography for the other two storms. The 1780 hurricane hit Barbados and neighbors, while Mitch hit Honduras and adjacent countries. -- Cyrius| 00:59, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Made some edits; many just style and wording. Really nice article; very thorough. --DanielCD 20:03, 29 Oct 2004 (UTC)


Have I not been following the news closely? I think the Katrina death toll numbers are off by a few factors of 10: "In contrast, through September 21, 2005, Hurricane Katrina's death toll is 15,564 and growing."

That would be vandalism...which anything Katrina-related is prone to. Jdorje 22:02, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

History channel video?[edit]

I just saw a video on the History Channel (I'm pretty sure) on this hurricane a few weeks ago. Someone might feel like digging it up and linking to it at the bottom. --Oreckel 13:41, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Yeah, I saw that too, that's why I requested it for the main page. I'm finding the link now. --brian0918 13:44, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Sorry I missed this, I was "out" for a while, and didn't think to check this talk page when I got back. The video in question is most likely the History Channel's documentary version of the book Isaac's Storm, already referenced. But now I know who to blame for ruining my plan to request it for the Main Page on June 1, first day of the Atlantic hurricane season. -- Cyrius| 00:55, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Total damages[edit]

The info box states that total damages were $30 million (1900 dollars) or $36 billion (2003 dollars). I'm not sure I really understand this -- surely it doesn't mean to imply that a dollar in 1900 had the purchasing power that one thousand, two hundred dollars would today?! I don't know offhand but I'd assume that a 1900 dollar is more equivalent to 10 or 20 of today's dollars.

I think they're using something like the righthand column in this reference [1], which is "population, wealth, and inflation adjusted", versus the left, which is inflation adjusted only. It looks like that table is from a paper based on the same research listed here, whose methods are explained here. The wealth adjustment makes sense to me, but the population adjustment seems a bit sketchy still. — Laura Scudder | Talk 03:17, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
The population-adjusted value is the NHC's estimate of what damage an identical hurricane would do if it struck today. I think they used it to try to get through to public policy makers that a hurricane that struck in exactly the right place could potentially do upwards of $100 billion dollars in damages (but I guess they failed). It's a pretty interesting figure to throw into an article, but you certainly can't claim that's how much damage the storm did. Jdorje 22:14, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

Katrina[edit]

We gotta mark this page... i have a feeling that Hurricane Katrina will knock this into 4th hardest hitting hurricane. --Dragontamer 01:22, 1 September 2005 (UTC)

Name of the article[edit]

The 1906 San Francisco earthquake article is named with the year appearing before the city. Should this one be renamed with the same format (1900 Galveston Hurricane) or viceversa (San Francisco earthquake of 1906)? --xDCDx 08:37, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

The current title was chosen over "1900 Galveston Hurricane" based on its wider use on the internet. Likewise, "1906 San Francisco earthquake" is more popular than the other wording. Don't let the inconsistency get to you, it's not important. -- Cyrius| 18:20, 6 September 2005 (UTC)
I don't know about other areas. Around Beaumont, you can refer to it as "The 1900 Storm" and pretty much everyone will know what you are talking about. Could we include that name in the article?

Mismatching velocities[edit]

The text says winds topped at 135mph. The chart on the right says 150mph. Needs to be cleared up.

It was 135 at landfall, (at least) 150 in the open water. (I think it might have been a Category 5 in the open Gulf but there is nothing to back it up) CrazyC83 18:39, 2 March 2006 (UTC)


More Impact[edit]

I know the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 impactd places other than Galveston so this article needs mention impact in Caribbean, Cuba, Louisiana, rest of Texas, Ohio Valley, New England and Atlantic Canada. Probably we need to have a Effect of Galevston Hurricane by region sub page like we did with the Hurricane Katrina article. Storm05 20:11, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

We do not need to have a sub page. But we do need to mention damage elsewhere, if only to say that the storm caused little damage (I have no idea how much damage was caused in Cuba and the midwest). I'd also be in favor of a structuring to a storm history + preparations + impact + aftermath sections as has become common for just about every other TC article (currently there is little information about storm history or the hurricane's formation). — jdorje (talk) 22:51, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
I agree that a subpage is unnecessary, but I kinda like the it as is, a historic narrative. The problem with applying a structure designed for modern hurricanes is that we have completely different sorts of information on modern hurricanes compared to this one. — Laura Scudder 23:41, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
I originally thought that too, but after applying it to 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane, 1935 Labor Day Hurricane, and 1947 Fort Lauderdale Hurricane I no longer see a problem. The only extra information this article has is background (the current "The city" section), which could maybe go into a separate "Background" section. — jdorje (talk) 00:01, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Lack of references[edit]

The lack of any inline references is a major problem for this article. I don't think it's appropriate for a FA to not have inline references. The ref/reference format is in place; can some of the original authors go back through and add the references into the text? — jdorje (talk) 20:36, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm going through the listed online references and trying to identify facts, but I don't have any of the paper references and rather doubt my local library would have them. So I'll have to leave that to the original authors. — Laura Scudder 22:20, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
If you can find online references to complement the paper references, that would be ideal. — jdorje (talk) 22:30, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
I think I've gotten all the big facts used out of the listed references. I'll take a look around for some more as there's still lots of facts calling out for citation. — Laura Scudder 23:11, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Importance[edit]

I think this one is a High; ~10000 deaths and a billion in 2000 USD damages is very notable to me.--Nilfanion (talk) 10:16, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

I did too until I compared it to an article like History, or even History of the United States, or Texas. It's a big scale when you think about it that way. — Laura Scudder 15:36, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I agree, but I'm looking at it in terms of what the importance scale actually says:
Importance must be regarded as a relative term. If importance values are applied within this project, these only reflect the perceived importance to this project. An article judged to be "Top-Class" in one context may be only "Mid-Class" in another.
From that I think it is a high-importance tropical cyclone but in terms of another topic (History of the US, say) it is likely to be lower.--Nilfanion (talk) 15:44, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
Ah, I see what you mean now. I didn't realize that rating was in the context of the tropical cyclones project. Then I'd definitely say it's high importance. — Laura Scudder 16:04, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

Upper echelon of High. If the storm hit today and killed 8,000, with the gold mine of information that would come out, the article would look a lot like that of Hurricane Katrina and would likely be Top-class if it had the same tragic and traumatic impacts. CrazyC83 01:21, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Article structure[edit]

This article doesn't seem to follow the structure outlines for tropical cyclone articles. It has a very odd structure. But I'm not sure how to properly organize it without losing information. Can anybody fix the problem? íslenska hurikein #12(samtal) 15:52, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

I've never been a fan of trying to fit round pegs into square holes for consistency's sake. I think it works find as structured now. — Laura Scudder 16:28, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

Source of storm intensity?[edit]

"The highest measured wind speed was 100 mph (160 km/h) just after 6 p.m., but the Weather Bureau's anemometer was blown off the building shortly after that measurement."

If the anemometer was blown off then how can it be said that the storm that hit Galveston was a Category 4 storm? Reub2000 03:33, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

The winds were estimated to be at least 120 mph later, so NOAA follows that estimate:
The greatest velocity for five minutes was 84 miles per hour at 6:15 p.m. With two minutes at the rate of 100 miles per hour. The anemometer blew away at this time, and it is estimated that prior to 8 p.m. the wind attained a velocity of at least 120 miles per hour.[2]
Titoxd(?!?) 03:55, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Rebuilding[edit]

Does anyone know how long it took to rebuild the city? That'd be a great addition to the article. -- §HurricaneERIC§ archive 17:03, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Bias[edit]

This was featured a long time ago. Trouble is there is the perception that once an article is featured it needs no more work. That is not true as standards change. The biggest problem is this article as it stands is it only really addresses the storm and Galveston; it is more comparable to effects of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans than to Hurricane Katrina. There is minimal information about impact elsewhere in the US, and in the Caribbean. The meteorological information also seems fairly weak.

The style of the prose is somewhat distinct from other hurricane articles, but that isn't a problem in itself.--Nilfanion (talk) 11:33, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

True that. I've wanted for a long time to bring this into a similar structure as other storm articles, though I never really realized it ignores effects in Cuba and elsewhere. One issue is the "The city" section, which basically gives background on the storm. I'd think this could fall either under 'Preparations' or under a new section 'Background' in the traditional tc article structure. Some people may have issues with heavily restructuring a FA, however - though I think everyone would agree the article is badly missing a synoptic history (storm history). — jdorje (talk) 23:12, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
I don't see the need to restructure necessarily, there is nothing wrong with a quirky style per se. I'd disagree with just rejigging sections (and their titles) to bring it into line with how the more recent ones were done, if that is the only thing done. The lack of information is serious and I will send to WP:FAR in a couple weeks if we don't get any improvements on that. As for hacking at a FA, Be bold!--Nilfanion (talk) 20:44, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
I do feel a separate synoptic history is desirable. The rest of the structure is not mandatory but the article pretty much falls into the same ordering already. — jdorje (talk) 21:02, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
From reports of Strength & size, it sounds the like the only area effected greatly was, Galveston. It only be came a hurricane in the middle of the Gulf. Before that it was a Tropical Storm, and did not cause large amounts of damage in such for.--Lionheart Omega 01:23, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
I don't see how speculation about information that *might* exist is relevant. Galveston was the largest city in Texas at the time. It is where the most damage and the largest loss of life occured. The books I know of on the topic refer to it as the Galveston Storm of 1900. This is because individual storms and hurricanes didn't have a naming system in 1900. Hence, "Galveston" Hurricane of 1900. As for meteorological data, you aren't going to find any AccuWeather hurricane watch charts from September, 1900. Deatonjr (talk) 01:22, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

NYT Archives[edit]

I added several links to articles from the New York Times historical archives, now that they're publicly accessible. Pasketti 16:10, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Moving them back here to the talk page:

Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 18:46, 20 November 2007 (UTC)


Photos[edit]

The first two historic photos, one captioned "This photograph shows the aftermath of the hurricane and the destruction it wrought" and the other, captioned "Homes in Galveston such as this one were reduced to timbers by the hurricane winds and floods" are from the 1889 Johnstown flood, not the Galveston Hurricane. For proof, go to the Library of Congress's Prints & Photos online archive (www.loc.gov/rr/print/catalog.html) and search for digital ID "cph 3b40885" to see another view of the Catholic Church in the first scene. The second scene includes one of Johnstown's schoolhouses, which was used as a morgue after the flood (I can't find a picture right now, but trust me, that's Johnstown as well). --Brassbear (talk) 15:39, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Brassbear,

Could you please provide a direct link to the catholic church photo. I was unable to find it by searching for digital ID that you gave. Thanks --Nsaum75 (talk) 15:45, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Hey Nsaum75,
Unfortunately, the LOC's site uses a cgi page for it's results, and I'm not sure how to get a permanent link that includes all the pertinent info. To find the photo, go to http://lcweb2.loc.gov/pp/pphome.html and put "cph 3b40885" in the search box. Then, before clicking search, change the drop down menu directly below the search box to "search in number fields." This will turn it up right away. I'm sure there is a way to get the permanent page link, I just can't figure it out right now. I found the second photo, on a National Park Service site about the Johnstown flood: http://www.nps.gov/history/NR/twhp/wwwlps/lessons/5johnstown/5visual1.htm
--Brassbear (talk) 20:03, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
The link to the NOAA site in the image has been updated, and the image has been removed from the article. The updated NOAA site notes that the images that were thought to be of the Galveston Hurricane were indeed taken at the Johnstown Flood. Does the Johnstown Flood page need images? 25or6to4 (talk) 12:47, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Other Communities Affected[edit]

After reading many articles in The Handbook of Texas Online [1] I have found that the storm did much more than just destroy Galveston. For example in the histories of towns like Pattison, Brookshire, Tomball, Waller, and Hempstead, all some 75-100 miles inland of Galveston, there is evidance of destruction and damage caused by this storm. Many smaller towns within a 50 mile radius of Galveston were never rebuilt or never regained the growth they were enjoying prior to the storm.

As important as the destruction was to Galveston, I would still like to see more on the damage and destruction that occured to other communities. Anyone interested in writing this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tmpafford (talkcontribs) 19:44, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

1867 Galveston hurricane[edit]

I wanted to suggest mention of this hurricane and a link to this article "1867 Hurricane left mark on Galveston" be included http://news.galvestondailynews.com/story.lasso?ewcd=1382de2c1b586593 since those who worry about Hurricane Ike will look to Galveston's past storms to predict the future. And congratulations on having written one of Wikipedia's finest articles. rumjal 12:25, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Erik Larson interview[edit]

There should be a link in the references to this interview with the author of Isaacs Storm, a book about the 1900 hurricane http://hnn.us/articles/15529.html rumjal 12:56, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Retitle?[edit]

Since the article was recently re-titled to have the "h" in Hurricane as lowercase, I think we should talk of another move, before we go crazy in fixing all of the redirects. I propose moving it to 1900 Galveston hurricane. ♬♩ Hurricanehink (talk) 01:15, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

I don't know how much we'd gain by doing it, but I see nothing wrong with it. AFAIK that's what the old title was. –Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 01:27, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
The original title was Galveston Hurricane, then Galveston Hurricane of 1900, followed by its current form. I believe my proposed change is much more natural than the current one. ♬♩ Hurricanehink (talk) 01:56, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
Ah, ok. True, your title does flow better, but I think they discourage starting article titles with numerical characters. –Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 01:59, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
JC, we have dozens to hundreds of articles (maybe) that start with the year. I doubt it is a problem. ♬♩ Hurricanehink (talk) 02:04, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
Indeed true. :-) Go ahead and move. –Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 02:22, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Additional Links[edit]

Historiography[edit]

FYI: I added a Historigraphy section to the Aftermath. The point of the section was to mention that the hurricane and its aftermath separate two widely recognized historical periods, each a few decades long. Even though the article is not about these two periods I think it is important to understand the storm's role in the history of those periods.

--Mcorazao (talk) 15:19, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

File:A big tip in Galveston2.jpg to appear as POTD soon[edit]

Hello! This is a note to let the editors of this article know that File:A big tip in Galveston2.jpg will be appearing as picture of the day on September 8, 2010. You can view and edit the POTD blurb at Template:POTD/2010-09-08. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page so Wikipedia doesn't look bad. :) Thanks! howcheng {chat} 21:57, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

Picture of the day
Effects of 1900 Galveston hurricane

A house tipped over as a result of the 1900 Galveston hurricane, which made landfall in Galveston, Texas, 110 years ago today. The Category 4 hurricane was responsible for approximately 8,000 deaths, making it the deadliest natural disaster to strike the United States to date (in comparison, 1,800 people died as a result of Hurricane Katrina). After striking Galveston, the storm blew northward to the Great Lakes, then headed eastward just north of Halifax, Nova Scotia, before disappearing into the Atlantic Ocean.

Photo: Griffith & Griffith; Restoration: Lise Broer
ArchiveMore featured pictures...


Survivor Plaques[edit]

Since Galveston is near and dear to me, I think it would be good to put up a little something about the survivor plaques that bulidings have that survived the storm, like the Strand Theater. Just a thought. Being semi-new to Wikipedia, Im not quit sure where to pu it. Help me out? Thanks! Flightx52 (talk) 21:05, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

Sure, we can work on that here. Do you have a list of buildings that have those plaques? Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 19:40, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Well as of now what I can say is that any building pre 1900 is eligible to have one. Maybe that could work. If I need to, I can look up every single building that has one, but doing it will take some time. Galveston is a fairly large place after all. If you need some builing to go off of you can use the Strand Theater. Flightx52 (talk) 20:29, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
a single photo with caption would suffice for now. Ken (talk) 21:28, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

Dead link[edit]

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Film[edit]

Thomas Edison filmed the aftermath of this disaster; media that is now in the public domain.   — C M B J   06:15, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Hurricane Ike (2008)[edit]

It amazes me that there was only one mention, and as merely a by-blow, of Hurricane Ike. I've added a link in See Also to Hurricane Ike, Texas. It should be worked into the article. Look at the picture at that link. The difference between having a seawall and not. The complacency of the residents, and the needless deaths, only 108 years after Galveston's tragedy. My feeling is that the Wikiproject has some thinking to do about education vs. celebration. Hopefully this article on the "deadliest hurricane in US history" is an exception to good work elsewhere? Shenme (talk) 20:43, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

Change "Prior to" to "Until"?[edit]

Since this good faith change on Feb 19 of "Prior to" to "Until" there has been an edit war over whether the article should say:

Prior to the Hurricane of 1900, Galveston was considered to be a beautiful and prestigious city...

OR

Until the Hurricane of 1900, Galveston was considered to be a beautiful and prestigious city...

I have therefore restored it to the previously stable wording of "Until". Given the edit war, obviously this is a controversial change, so consensus favoring the change must be established here on the talk page before the change is made. Make your respective cases, folks, or find something else to do. But please stop edit warring over this. --B2C 06:42, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/index.html