What was the worst hurricane ever to strike the United States?

Dear Tom,
What was the worst hurricane ever to strike the United States?
Joe Rubado, Madison, Wisc.
Dear Joe,
In terms of loss of human life, the Great Galveston Hurricane of Sept. 8, 1900, stands as this country’s worst hurricane disaster. In addition, it also is the worst weather disaster of any kind in the United States.
Without warning, in fact while the U.S. Weather Bureau was denying that a hurricane was churning its way across the Gulf of Mexico toward the Texas coast, a category four hurricane slammed across Galveston and the surrounding area, bringing 120 mph winds and a devastating 20-foot storm surge. Before the 1900 hurricane, Galveston was a thriving port city of 38,000. After the hurricane, the city was a shambles and six to 10 thousand of its residents were dead and another 5,000 injured. In addition, 1,200 died outside the Galveston area.

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