America’s Deadliest Natural Disaster…the Galveston Hurricane of 1900…and the heroic efforts of meteorologist-in-charge, Isaac Cline

By Paul Dorian

Surface weather analysis on September 8, 1900 featuring the Galveston hurricane just before landfall. Map courtesy US Weather Bureau (now the National Weather Service)

Overview

At the end of the 19th century, America was beaming with confidence and feeling bigger and stronger than ever before.  The city of Galveston, Texas was booming with a population of 37,000 residents on the east end of Galveston Island which runs about thirty miles in length and anywhere from one and a half to three miles in width. Its position on the harbor of Galveston Bay along the Gulf of Mexico made it the center of trade and the biggest city in Texas in the year 1900.  A quarter of a century earlier, a nearby town was destroyed by a powerful hurricane and this object lesson was heeded by many Galveston residents and talks of a seawall to protect the city were quite prevalent.  However, no seawall was built and sand dunes along the shore were actually cut down to fill low areas in the city, removing what little barrier there was to the Gulf of Mexico.  This proved to be a fatal mistake for the city of Galveston in what nobody could foresee happening to this magical place that seemed destined to become the New York of the Gulf of Mexico.

Background

In August of 1900, there was a prolonged heat wave that gripped much of the nation and killed dozens of people in some of the biggest cities like New York and Chicago.  Other manifestations of the abnormally warm climate that year included the melting of Bering Glacier in the state of Alaska.  Galveston itself experienced some tremendous rainfall intensity that summer and, by late August, the local residents couldn’t help but to have an uneasy feeling as they knew the heart of the hurricane season had arrived and there was not nearly the weather observation network that we have today with satellites and radar.  In fact, ship reports were the only reliable tool for observing hurricanes at sea, but these were of somewhat limited warning value as they had no way of telegraphing weather observations ashore. 

The storm begins

The first formal observation for a developing new eastern Atlantic Ocean storm occurred on August 27th when a ship recorded an area of “unsettled weather” about 1000 miles east of the Windward Islands.  This storm is believed to have begun as a “Cape Verde-type” hurricane – a tropical wave moving off the western coast of Africa.  By September 1st, the US Weather Bureau observers were reporting on a “storm of moderate intensity” southeast of Cuba.  The storm made landfall on southwest Cuba, but some of the reports that surfaced from Cuba were simply not believed as there was a distrust of Cuban weather forecasters.  By September 5th, the system emerged into the Florida Straits as a tropical storm or weak hurricane. 

A difficult prediction and the heroic efforts of Meteorologist Issac Cline

By the time the storm reached a position just to the northwest of Key West, Florida on September 6th, many US Weather Bureau forecasters were convinced it would track to the northeast.  However, once the system moved out over the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico, it began to strengthen and head westward – on a collision course with the Texas coast.  The Galveston Weather Station Chief, Issac Cline, was becoming increasingly suspicious of the overall weather situation as he observed what was unfolding.  This was in an era in which there were no satellites to help meteorologists track tropical systems nor any computer forecast models to rely on. By the afternoon of the 7th, he noticed the large swells on the Gulf of Mexico coming towards Galveston Island from the southeast and the clouds at all altitudes began moving in from the northeast – both observations consistent with a hurricane approaching from the east.  It was at this time that Cline and the Galveston Weather Bureau office ordered its double square flags to be flown indicating a hurricane warning was in effect. 

Isaac M. Cline is most famous for his actions as Meteorologist-in-Charge of Galveston, Texas, during the Great Hurricane of 1900. The story of the hurricane and Cline’s efforts were captured in a book entitled “Isaac’s Storm” (Larson, E. (1999), New York, N.Y.: Crown Publishing Group)

Devastation hits on September 8th

Early on the morning of Saturday, September 8th, Cline harnessed his horse to a cart, drove to the beach, and warned every one of the impending storm advising them to get to higher ground immediately. At the time, the highest point in the city was only 8.7 feet above sea level (source CBS19, Tyler, Texas).  By early afternoon on September 8th, the Bureau office was recording hurricane-force winds.  In the early part of the night of September 8th – a terrifying night that reshaped the Gulf of Mexico forever – the wind direction shifted to the east, and then to the southeast as the eye began to pass over the island just to the west of the city.  The hurricane brought winds that evening estimated to be near 145 mph at landfall making it a Category 4 on today’s rating scale – stronger than Hurricane Katrina (2005) – at the time of its landfall.  It also brought a storm surge of over 15 feet that inundated most of Galveston Island and the city of Galveston. During the storm, Cline and his brother Joseph continued to send updated reports to headquarters until the last of the telegraph lines went down.

  

The deadliest natural disaster ever in the US

By the next morning, skies had cleared and a 20 mph breeze greeted the Galveston survivors, there were 3600 homes destroyed leaving about a quarter of the population homeless, and it was quite obvious that there was a tremendous loss of life.  One of the structures destroyed was Cline’s own house, where his wife, three daughters, brother, and about 50 neighbors took refuge from the storm. Cline and his brother managed to save his three daughters, but his wife was among the thousands who died that night. The Galveston Hurricane of 1900 is estimated to have killed as many as 12,000 individuals, but the number most often cited in official reports is 8000 – the true number will never be known. Indeed, the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 is the deadliest natural disaster to ever strike the US.  By contrast, the second deadliest storm to strike the US, the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane, caused more than 2500 deaths and the deadliest storm of recent times, Hurricane Katrina of 2005, claimed the lives of approximately 1800 people.  The storm continued on its trek producing lots of heavy rain and strong winds along the way, first tracking into Oklahoma, then the Great Lakes, and ultimately to near Halifax, Nova Scotia.  As far away as New York City there were winds estimated as high as 65 mph – some four days after the devastation occurred in Galveston.

This map shows the approximate path and intensity level of the 1900 Galveston hurricane. Map courtesy NOAA

The rebuilding

Galveston never regained its former status as a major commercial center as development shifted north to Houston, which was enjoying the benefits of an oil boom.  The citizens of Galveston decided to rebuild and in a remarkable feat of civil engineering raised the grade of the entire city and built a seawall to help protect it from future storms.

First built following the 1900 storm, the seawall at Galveston now spans more than ten miles providing protection to the heart of the city. Photograph courtesy NOAA

Dredged sand was used to raise the city of Galveston by as much as 17 feet above its previous elevation.  A 17-foot seawall was built beginning in 1902 and initially spanned nearly 50 blocks providing protection for heart of the city.  In 1915, a storm similar in strength and track to the 1900 hurricane struck Galveston.  This storm brought a 12-foot storm surge which tested the new seawall.  Although nearly 50 people died on Galveston Island during the storm in 1915 with the majority in unprotected portions, this was a great reduction from the thousands who died in 1900 during the worst natural disaster America has ever faced. Additional sections have been added to the seawall over the years and it now spans more than 10 miles; however, some two-thirds of the island remains in harm’s way.

Meteorologist Paul Dorian
Peraton
peratonweather.com

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September 8, 2021 2:22 pm

Casualty figures for older disasters seem to be often underestimated. The death toll for the 1906 San Francisco earthquake was also revised upwards in the 1970’s.

John Tillman
Reply to  Tom Halla
September 8, 2021 2:29 pm

In the City, it was called the Fire of 1906, for insurance reasons.

Reply to  John Tillman
September 8, 2021 3:13 pm

My grandfather was a teenager at the time of the quake, and lived in San Jose. He said that a fair number of buildings that were totaled by the quake, but looked good from one side were photographed, with the claim that they were undamaged before they burned.

John Tillman
Reply to  Tom Halla
September 8, 2021 3:31 pm

Yup. No earthquake insurance then, but fire, yeah.

What insurance claim do you make if your house is blown up to make a fire brake?

Reply to  John Tillman
September 8, 2021 3:35 pm

Grandpa was of the opinion that there was a “wink-wink, nod-nod” agreement to attribute most of the damage to fire, as the city wanted to rebuild, and vanishingly few of the fire insurers were locals.

John Tillman
Reply to  Tom Halla
September 8, 2021 3:51 pm

I don’t think that that’s just an opinion.

Editor
Reply to  Tom Halla
September 8, 2021 11:54 pm

I have on my bookshelf a book called ‘The elements rage’ by frank W lane about ‘The extremes of Natural Violence” written in 1966.

It describes the Galveston disaster. Many of the studies puts the weather events this century into much better context.

tonyb

Reply to  tonyb
September 9, 2021 11:30 am

A magical book; I had an edition in paperback, in two volumes, here in the UK.

Auto

Last edited 1 month ago by auto
Tom Abbott
Reply to  auto
September 9, 2021 12:29 pm

I couldn’t find it on my Kindle.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  ATheoK
September 10, 2021 5:40 am

Thanks for the link. I guess it is too old to have been digitized.

John Tillman
September 8, 2021 2:31 pm

Galveston Bay: natural and man-made Disaster Central:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_City_disaster

Lorra
Reply to  John Tillman
September 8, 2021 4:55 pm

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Last edited 1 month ago by Lorra
Gunga Din
Reply to  Lorra
September 8, 2021 5:20 pm

MODS!
How did this slip in?
PS Readers, don’t click on it!

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
September 8, 2021 2:36 pm

An account of the storm and the career of Issac Cline can be had in the book “Isaac’s Storm“, by Erik Larson. Link is to Amazon paperback.

It is interesting to read just how much they didn’t know about hurricanes in 1900.

Mumbles McGuirck
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
September 8, 2021 4:34 pm

If you read Larson’s book, he questions Cline’s account of riding his buggy back and forth along the beach warning people. He opines that Cline concocted the story after the hurricane to cover his backside. Also the results of the storm drove a wedge between Isaac and his brother.
Hurricane specialist Gil Clark spoke with Cline a few years before the old man passed away. Gil said he was still obsessed with studying sea swell as a method of predicting hurricanes.

Reply to  Mumbles McGuirck
September 8, 2021 6:06 pm

Died in 1955. No satellites. No computers that had the faintest hope of running a model, even if they existed. Research storm chasing was in its infancy.

Mumbles McGuirck
Reply to  writing observer
September 9, 2021 5:08 am

In 1955, Jule Charney had just developed a barotropic model on the computer at the Institute for Advanced Studies. The Weather Bureau and the US Armed Services began the Joint Numerical Weather Prediction unit to use Charney’s development and create the first operational weather prediction model. It would still be several years before they started making operational runs, and a few more before operational hurricane track predictions.

Ron Long
Reply to  Mumbles McGuirck
September 8, 2021 6:08 pm

Mumbles, it looks like Cline mentioned sea swells and wind from the northeast. The rule 8in the northern hemisphere) is “with the wind at your back the low pressure is to your left”. If the wind stays from the northeast but gets stronger the low pressure is coming directly at you, run!

Mumbles McGuirck
Reply to  Ron Long
September 9, 2021 5:08 am

The use of sea swell to predict the approach of a hurricane was problematic, especially when you get outside the confines of the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricanes send out waves in all directions. You have to carefully watch the swell and measure if the wave frequency is increasing or not. Even then it doesn’t mean the storm is heading directly at you. But Cline was convinced he’d found a sure fire method, if only he could work out the details.

ATheoK
Reply to  Ron Long
September 9, 2021 9:53 pm

Face into the wind and stick your right arm straight out, it will point towards the low.

Agree with your prediction!

Reply to  Mumbles McGuirck
September 8, 2021 8:15 pm

I, too, have read Larson’s “Isaac’s Storm” and agree that he was no hero. He didn’t issue an evacuation order until after the rail lines northward were already under water. No other way off the island. He spent the rest of his life promoting his “story.” He built himself quite a reputation. In fact, NWS presents a yearly “Isaac Cline Award.” Congrats to Eric Larson for digging into the past and revealing what really happened on Galveston Island in 1900.
Also, Larson has written a series of books in which he “deep dives” into history and finds some really fascinating stories. I highly recommend his books.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Thomas Wills
September 9, 2021 12:36 pm

Kindle has that one. 🙂

H. D. Hoese
Reply to  Tom Abbott
September 9, 2021 1:58 pm

Other works, may have done better organizing the 1927 flood.
Cline, I. M. 1920. Relation of changes in storm tides on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico to the center and movement of hurricanes. Monthly Weather Review. 48(3):127-146.
Cline, I. M. 1926. Tropical Cyclones. Macmillan. 301p.
Cline, I. M. 1928. Floods in the lower Mississippi. New Orleans Board of Trade. 29p.

In his book he reviewed earlier storms, things like reverse river flow. He got around as in an unbelievable inland summer fish kill apparently from cold caused by an exceptional hailstorm reported by Larson, 1999, as seen by Isaac Cline.

ATheoK
Reply to  Mumbles McGuirck
September 9, 2021 9:50 pm

If you read Larson’s book, he questions Cline’s account of riding his buggy back and forth along the beach warning people.”

Cline went to the edge of the island to see the waves, clouds and feel the wind.
From that he believed the hurricane was coming.

That bolsters Cline’s claim that he warned people at the beach.
the real question is how many were warned, 2, 4, 6 more?

Larsen wasn’t there and even as he notes all of Cline’s data recording and hurricane prediction actions, he falls in with the people that vilified Cline post hurricane and blamed Cline.

Storm surges were virtual unknowns and people went to Cline’s house to weather the storm. A fifteen foot wall of water, waves and timber from all of the houses swept inland and destroyed Cline’s house as well.

People trying to escape the hurricane by wading through the timber laden storm surge coupled with hurricane debris filled winds severely injured or killed many people.

John Adams
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
September 9, 2021 3:15 pm

A good read.

Scissor
September 8, 2021 2:47 pm

I’ll never forget being in Galveston 1 day less than 101 years after the 1900 hurricane.

Rud Istvan
September 8, 2021 2:52 pm

My father commanded and was lead pilot for the 409th typhoon chasers off Guam 1948-1950, after the Air Force sent him to school in 1946-47 for a double masters in meteorology and electronics (weather radar, then very new). Not much was understood about tropical cyclones even then, according to him.

The planes were stripped down and refitted B-29s, with weather radar and dropsondes in the bomb bay instead of bombs, and with extra fuel capacity for up to 24 hour recon flights out over the Pacific. Not designed for the turbulence, like hurricane hunters today. One plane he flew thru a typhoon came back with the tail’s vertical stabilizer bent 16 degrees out of true. He got it safely landed using differential outer engine power as the torque offset to the crippled rudder, and then it was scrapped for parts.

John Tillman
Reply to  Rud Istvan
September 8, 2021 3:03 pm

Despite relatively little being known about typhoons then, the late, great, later CACA skeptic Reid Bryson, USAAF meteorologist, warned the Navy about the two typhoons into which ADM Halsey led Third Fleet in 1944 and ’45, with great loss of life and ships. Both after the Imperial Japanese Navy suckered him away from San Bernardino Strait during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, with great loss of men and ships.

Yet he got a fifth star.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  John Tillman
September 8, 2021 4:41 pm

Yup. He was too public a figure to be officially reprimanded. Politics.

Mumbles McGuirck
Reply to  John Tillman
September 8, 2021 5:18 pm

Funny thing is Bryson was one of the climatologists pushing the New Ice Age in the 1970s. When his predictions failed, he felt ‘burnt’ by the media hype and became skeptical of the global warming nonsense.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Mumbles McGuirck
September 9, 2021 12:41 pm

Interesting.

And others just made a pivot from Global Cooling to Global Warming without missing a beat.

I think it depends on which direction the temperatures are going. Some climate scientists seem to think a trend will go on forever.

Mumbles McGuirck
Reply to  Rud Istvan
September 8, 2021 4:40 pm

Actually, the aircraft used for reconnaissance and research (C130s & P3s) are NOT specially reinforced. Structurally they’re “off the shelf”. All the money was spent on computers and instrumentation.

Mr.
September 8, 2021 3:00 pm

According to Mauna Lau station, CO2 in 1900 was only a ‘safe’ 296 ppm (taken from ice cores).

So this ‘unprecedented’ hurricane must have been caused by all the methane being emitted by horses and farm oxen, and other dastardly habits of humans, such as taking a bath every Saturday night.

griff
Reply to  Mr.
September 9, 2021 12:31 am

I wonder how any plants managed to grow with those low levels of essential plant food?

Disputin
Reply to  griff
September 9, 2021 2:11 am

As far as I remember the minimum level for CO2 is about 180ppm.

Disputin
Reply to  Disputin
September 9, 2021 2:13 am

BTW, congratulations for getting positive likes.

Mr.
Reply to  Disputin
September 9, 2021 7:36 am

Yep.
Another swing and a miss from Griff.

Robert Alfred Taylor
September 8, 2021 3:04 pm

Territory of Alaska; a long time before it became a state.

Philip
September 8, 2021 3:11 pm

Since 1900 we’ve made advances in building construction, and have building codes that have to be met that can withstand x-factor of earthquake etc.. And, over the same time period the population has increased tenfold. The same hurricane today hitting Galveston of 50,000 souls might not inflict the same physical damage, but it would touch upon many more lives. Many unfortunately, who would blame climate change. Giving government the opportunity to tax more and accomplish even less when it comes to controlling climate, [or the weather]. So we have less to fear from nature than we do from those who arrogantly go about grifting the local mooks at higher tax rates and making bi-laws that reduce the individuals’ [current] freedoms… in the name of progress of course. 😏

griff
Reply to  Philip
September 9, 2021 12:32 am

but they would have more warning, evacuation orders/plans and hurricane refuges.

which is why numbers of deaths in cyclones and hurricanes across the world have dropped, not any lessening of occurrence or intensity.

Philip
Reply to  griff
September 9, 2021 2:33 am

One cannot legitimately infer a cause-and-effect relationship between any decreasing number of deaths due to hurricanes, and the change in frequency of hurricanes developing, or their intensity.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Philip
September 9, 2021 12:24 pm

griff can infer such, because…

Robert Bradley
September 8, 2021 4:01 pm

Thank you very much for this post. I do not know why they haven’t made a movie out of it (need a love story within it). Amazing buildup as the locals realized what was happening.

Can’t blame climate change for this–just a lack of wealth and fossil fuels in this early day.

John Tillman
Reply to  Robert Bradley
September 8, 2021 4:24 pm

Isaac lost his wife.

It would make a good disaster movie, with suspense build up as he pours over incoming limited data and watches the sky and sea.

John Tillman
Reply to  Robert Bradley
September 8, 2021 4:28 pm

Galveston was a frequent target of hurricanes. A sea wall storm surge barrier was clearly indicated:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Texas_hurricanes_(pre-1900)

James Schrumpf
Reply to  Robert Bradley
September 8, 2021 4:37 pm

A great hurricane movie is 1936’s “The Hurricane”, set in the South Seas islands and featuring the greatest special effects of wind and storm surge I’ve seen to this day. Catch it if you can.

Mumbles McGuirck
Reply to  James Schrumpf
September 8, 2021 5:12 pm

Great Samuel Goldwyn film based on the Nordoff & Hall novel. Jon Hall as Terangi was nephew to James Norman Hall, one of the authors. Also launched Dorothy Lamour’s career.

griff
Reply to  Robert Bradley
September 9, 2021 12:33 am

but you CAN blame climate change for a series of intense rain and storm events this century, and increase in such events.

Disputin
Reply to  griff
September 9, 2021 2:17 am

But only for increases. Decreases are just weather.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  griff
September 9, 2021 2:43 am

There has NOT been an increase in intense rain and storm events in this century.

Leo Smith
Reply to  griff
September 9, 2021 4:45 am

You can. You would be wrong, but you can...

Tom Abbott
Reply to  griff
September 9, 2021 12:50 pm

“but you CAN blame climate change for a series of intense rain and storm events this century”

You can blame climate change all you want but it doesn’t make it so. Evidence makes it so, and you don’t have any of that.

September 8, 2021 4:34 pm

Coincidentally, both the hurricane and the CO2 level were about “120 ago” — 121 years, and 119 ppmv. At the time of the Galveston hurricane of 1900, atmospheric CO2 concentration was at about 296 ppmv (estimated from ice cores):

https://sealevel.info/co2.html

Here’s a nifty video about the project to raise Galveston:

One of engineers leading the project to raise Galveston was Brigadier General Henry Martyn Robert of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers… best known as the author of Roberts’ Rules of Order.

The fact that modern Galveston is built on a thick layer of fill dirt (silt dredged from the harbor) is probably why it has an unusually high rate of subsidence, even to this day. Galveston’s sea-level trend is the second-highest in the nation, exceeded only by another place which was recently in the news in connection with a hurricane: Grand Isle, LA (where the subsidence is due to isostatic response to silt loading from the Mississippi River).

Note that neither Galveston nor Grand Isle has seen any detectable acceleration in their sea-level trends. In fact, Galveston has seen a slight (barely statistically significant) deceleration, probably because the rate of fill dirt compaction is decreasing as the years go by.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dave Burton
Reply to  Dave Burton
September 8, 2021 6:01 pm

Correction: That Galveston link is to one of two tide gauges on Galveston Island, and it’s the poorer of the two measurement records. This one is better (and, like most other high-quality long sea-level measurement records) it shows no significant acceleration or deceleration in sea-level trend since the 1920s:

https://sealevel.info/MSL_graph.php?id=8771450&c_date=1930/1-2024/12

Reply to  Dave Burton
September 9, 2021 6:23 pm

Another small correction: the correct title of his book of parliamentary procedures is Robert’s Rules of Order” (not “Roberts’ Rules of Order”).

Lorra
September 8, 2021 4:56 pm

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Last edited 1 month ago by Lorra
Tom Abbott
Reply to  Lorra
September 9, 2021 12:53 pm

Looks like we need a “Cease and Desist” order.

Gunga Din
September 8, 2021 5:10 pm

But the pictures aren’t in color! And there’s no VIDEOS!
Therefore, it didn’t happen in a millennials lifetime so it doesn’t count in modern climate change related reporting!

Gunga Din
Reply to  Gunga Din
September 8, 2021 5:18 pm

PS They may be out there, but I know of no color pictures or videos of the two “Blizzard of ’78”. (One hit the Midwest. Then another different weather system hit the Northeast a couple of weeks later. Lots of records set. The National Guard was using bulldozers to clear the roads where I lived in north west Ohio.)

Reply to  Gunga Din
September 8, 2021 6:14 pm

Found one:

Only able to tell, though, because the sky is blue. Everything else might as well be black and white.

640px-Blizzardof78MapleSt.jpg
Neville
September 8, 2021 5:21 pm

Certainly Galveston was a very deadly Hurricane. But here in Australia the cyclone trend has been lower for the last 50 + years in the region.
But 200 hundreds years ago and beyond the Qld nth coast had what are called SUPER cyclones by Dr Jon Nott of James Cook Uni.
Much stronger and more dangerous than today, but who knows whether that our much lower trend today might not change in the future? Here’s the link.
OH and these SUPER cyclones were belting the QLD coast when co2 levels were about 280 ppm.

https://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/super-cyclone/11006020

Vincent
Reply to  Neville
September 9, 2021 5:42 am

Neville,
I can’t help wondering what the effects on the economy would be, and the amount of anxiety that would be caused, especially in the younger generation, if the media were to report all extreme weather events within the context of the historical background of known, or estimated, extreme weather events of the past that could likely occur again, regardless of our attempts to reduce CO2 emissions.

Similar to your reference to past ‘Super Cyclones’ in North Queensland, a study of ice cores from Law Dome in Antarctica, has provided a 1,000 year history of droughts in South East Australia. From 8 megadroughts that were identified during that period, only 2 had occurred after the industrial revolution when CO2 levels began rising. The worst megadrought occurred in the 12th century AD and was 39 years long.

How does Australia prepare for another 39-year drought? It would be very expensive. It would involve the construction of many more dams in areas subject to flooding, long-distance water pipes between wetter and drier areas, preparation for the construction of desalination plants, and possibly even the design of powerful ships that could tow icebergs from the Antarctic.

However, if another 39-year drought never occurred, within, say, the next couple of centuries, the benefits of those very expensive construction projects would still be a good investment. There would be far less damage resulting from the frequent flooding events we experience in Australia, and the agricultural benefits of a more secure supply of water, and better distribution of water to drier areas, would result in more agricultural profits and more taxes which would help pay for the initial constructions costs.

However, the construction of ‘super-strong’ homes that are able to resist the forces of ‘super cyclones’, say Category 6, would not be such a good investment. Already, housing prices are too high for many young people to afford. Significantly increasing the price of house construction in cyclone-risk areas, by enforcing strict regulations requiring the buildings to be able to resist the force of Category 6 cyclones, would reduce economic development in the risk-prone areas, unless there was significant government subsidies.

There is also the problem of individual rights and freedom. If farming families have been grazing cattle and growing crops for generations, on fertile areas of land where a dam is proposed, they would likely oppose being forced off their land, even if they were fairly compensated.

Reply to  Neville
September 9, 2021 6:30 pm

Thank you for this!

old construction worker
September 8, 2021 10:54 pm

Headline: Hurricane Larry is longest-lived major hurricane since Dorian in 2019, expert says. You got to laugh. Hurricane Larry is about 400 miles east of Bermuda. Time will tell if it is the longest-lived major hurricane since Dorian in 2019

Tom Abbott
Reply to  old construction worker
September 9, 2021 1:00 pm

I wonder how many hurricanes happened before we had instruments to measure and view them? I’ll bet there were quite a lot. So claiming something is the longest-lived is not taking everything into consideration.

They need to insert “as far as we know”, in there somewhere.

September 8, 2021 11:45 pm

That magical anthropogenic CO2 molecule is so powerful it now causes extreme weather events …. 121 years in the past. Amazing.

Peter Schiavo
September 9, 2021 2:06 pm

Erik Larson wrote a very good book on this, Isaac’s Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History
It is much worth a read.

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