I haven’t heard any comparison between Hurricane Harvey and the famous 1900 Galveston hurricane.
— Chris Martin, La Grange
The 1900 Galveston hurricane still stands as this nation’s deadliest storm, responsible for as many as 12,000 fatalities.
It took a more northerly track through the tropics, passing across Hispaniola and Cuba, while Harvey crossed the Yucatan into the Bay of Campeche before targeting the Texas coast. While both storms were of Category 4 strength at landfall, it was the unexpected 15- to 20-foot storm surge across Galveston Island, not flooding rains, that caused most fatalities in 1900. Unlike meandering Harvey, the 1900 storm moved steadily across East Texas into Kansas before turning northeast and hitting the Chicago area with winds as high as 72 mph.