As the needle bends

A world view thru my hobbit hole door

The Tales of My Demise – greatly exaggerated

This is an image of the memorial on the Galveston Island Seawall to those who lost their lives in the Great Storm of 1900 that I found on the internet

Memorial to The Great Storm of 1900 in Galveston, TX
Memorial to The Great Storm of 1900 in Galveston, TX

In discussing the topic of this post with a friend of mine this morning, I came to realize that many people who haven’t lived in Texas their whole bloody lives may never have heard of the “Great Storm of 1900.”  To make a long story short, on September 8, 1900, what is believed to have been a category 4 hurricane roared onto Galveston Island. The warning systems that were in place were woefully inadequate, and that was before the “sea wall” you likely saw LOTS of during coverage of Ike recently. The entire island was inundated, and very few buildings were left standing. The death toll was estimated between 6,000 and 12,000 – with most using some sort of “low average” of 8,000.  In reading about the storm (I seem to have taken a track of reading endlessly about hurricanes, as if learning about them will keep another from coming our way!), it was eerie to read about similarities between the “Great Storm” and Hurricane Ike. According to my friends in Canada, they got torrential rains, and 30+ mph winds from Ike, and, according to Wikipedia,  The Great Storm continued northeast, much as Ike did, causing flooding, and ferocious winds up through Oklahoma (I think Ike liked Arkansas better – but we didn’t have power then so I’m not totally sure), to the Great Lakes, and actually had 65 mph winds in NY City.
I don’t know who took the above picture but it is as beautful as the memorial is heart-wrenching to me.  While reading the comments below that picture, I learned that the Today show, and others reported that the Memorial did NOT survive its encounter with Ike.  The picture from Ike that I believe will be forever imprinted in my brain is this one, from the Houston Chronicle (where you can see some really remarkable pictures of the area, and some rather mundane ones – but storms are a strange mixture of strange, remarkable, and mundane!), taken by Johnny Hanson, in what had to be the hours leading up to Ike’s arrival:


The Great Storm of 1900 Memorial with Ike looming

Memorial to Great Storm of 1900 with "Ike" looming - Photo by Johnny Hanson: Houston Chronicle "Best Images from Hurricane Ike"

 As we go forward with our daily lives, many of us changed – some in bigs ways, and some in barely perceptible ways – by our encounters with Ike, I would like to follow this image, which I believe embodies the spirit of Texans, in the face of adversity, with another – taken days after the storm, which does indeed show… The memorial is still there, and was being prepared as the centerpiece for a prayer vigil. The father, and the mother, and the child are still there – still reaching toward God, and still clinging to each other. The waters of the Gulf of Mexico are now calm.  Galveston, the Bolivar, Gilchrest, Crystal Beach, the Greater Houston Area, and the many other areas that Ike treated so unkindly, are enjoying the cool breezes of the beginnings of autumn, and their residents are setting their steps on the path to making things whole once again.

Getty Images

Galveston in the Aftermath of Ike Image #147, Houston Chronicle - Mark Wilson: Getty Images


I thank God that, while the devastation in some areas may be almost as complete as it was in the Great Storm, the toll in lives was not. With the loss of a single life being such an immense tragedy, I can only imagine the horror in Galveston that fall, with the death of thousands – they say more died in that storm than all the other storms which have hit the US added together.  Thank you for your prayers, for our safety and for our sanity during and after the storm, and for your prayers for those who still suffer from losses much worse than I can allow myself to imagine.


September 28, 2008 - Posted by | Life and Ramblings | , , , ,


  1. wow bobbie

    that is a STUNNING and POWERFUL image .. kind of makes me think of rebirth with that spark of life in his hands ..

    and yes – Ike made it to Canada .. we suffered 30mph + winds, sideways rain (and a LOT of it) areas suffered flooding, and I think it went all the way up the st lawrence seaway .. astounding that Ike could go the full length of north america .. he was powerful and strong .. katrina’s uncle maybe?

    Comment by gquilts | September 30, 2008 | Reply

  2. Thank you for sharing information and pictures of Galveston. I live very close to Galveston.

    Comment by Millie | October 11, 2008 | Reply

  3. Hi, I would like to know if there is a way that I can buy a copy of the photo of the Great Storm Memorial with Ike crashing in. We used to go to Galveston alot, in fact we were there in June 08. This photo is full of emotion. Fantastic Job!

    Comment by Sherry McCann | March 24, 2009 | Reply

  4. Votre blog est id�al pour quiconque veut comprendre ce sujet de plus. Superbe boulot Tandis que le Pere No�l frappe � notre porte juste une fois par an, vous blog est ouvert toute l’ann�e . G�nial

    Comment by In Mcfan | August 30, 2011 | Reply

  5. simply beautiful…..

    Comment by dennis | August 30, 2011 | Reply

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    Comment by red wine | August 27, 2012 | Reply

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