Texas Is Home to the Deadliest Natural Disaster in U.S. History
Texas may be known for great breakfast burritos, country music, and crazy politics, but you might be surprised to learn that it's quite famous for something else, too: the worst natural disaster in United States history.
The Galveston hurricane of 1900 still ranks as the number one deadliest natural disaster in the history of the United States, claiming the lives of between 6,000 and 12,000 people, and destroying 7,000 buildings, roughly half of which were homes. The hurricane was said to have caused roughly $35.4 million worth of damage, which is the equivalent of approximately $1.097 billion as of 2020.
At the time, officials were discouraged from using terms like "tornado" or "hurricane" to avoid panicking residents. Luckily, in modern times, meteorologists are less concerned with panicking and more concerned with making sure we're safe. In fact, a lot of the time we're worried about storms for no reason at all. The policy seems to be "better safe than sorry" these days, and that's totally OK with me.
Here in Lubbock, we don't worry too much about hurricanes. Sure, we may get some nasty weather when they come around, but we're pretty far away from the ocean. Tornados, however, tend to have us on edge.
We had a bad one here in 1970 that we still haven't forgotten. There were 26 fatalities and $135 million in damages. That's pretty rough, but it was really only a drop in the bucket compared to the devastation caused by the hurricane in Galveston.
Hug your local weather man and be sure to thank them for keeping us safe. It's a wild world out there.
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