By Tom Dare
A SET OF INCREDIBLE retro images showing the impact of the deadliest natural disaster in American history have resurfaced this week as Hurricane Harvey continues to wreak havoc across the United States.
Pictures show streets flattened and houses destroyed by the devastating force of the hurricane that hit the small Texan coastal city of Galveston in 1900, killing between 6,000 and 8,000 people.
In other shots, locals can be seen rummaging through the wreckage searching for bodies, while another image shows a group of schoolchildren standing in front of the distorted frame of one of the town’s former buildings
The category four hurricane, which struck on September 8 1900, remains the worst natural disaster in terms of number of deaths ever to hit America.
Galveston was one of the country’s busiest ports at the time of the storm, and often attracted vacationers from across the country during its peak season. Unfortunately, the city was awash with visitors when the deadly hurricane hit.
A huge 15 ft storm-surge struck the small coastal city, dwarfing the 8 ft high seawall put in place to protect the people of Galveston. Entire roads were flattened, churches destroyed and schools wiped out, with a total estimate of 3,600 buildings demolished by the hurricane. The deadly storm left the city with a debt of around $20 million, approximately $700 million in today’s money.
And Galveston again found itself in the path of a deadly storm this week, as Hurricane Harvey made landfall in the United States.
But while roads and buildings once again flooded as a result of the storm, it was in fact Houston that bore the brunt of this storm, with an estimated 18 people thought to have died in the city.
Thousands of residents have so far been evacuated, with potentially thousands more waiting for rescue. No time scale has yet been set as to when people might be rescued, with residents from across the city chipping in to help anyone in need.
And on Wednesday Harvey continued its destructive path across the country, making landfall once again on the border of Texas and Louisiana and completely submerging another Texan city, Port Arthur, in floodwater.