Just now, with so much waterborne destruction visiting the Houston / Galveston region, it’s well to remember that this isn’t unprecedented:
The Hurricane of 1900 made landfall on September 8, 1900, in Galveston, Texas, in the United States. It had estimated winds of 145 miles per hour (233 km/h) at landfall, making it a Category 4 storm on the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale. It was the deadliest hurricane in US history, and the second costliest hurricane in U.S. history based on the dollar's 2005 value (to compare costs with those of Hurricane Katrina and others).
The hurricane caused great loss of life with the death of between 6,000 and 12,000 people; the number most cited in official reports is 8,000, giving the storm the third-highest number of deaths or injuries of any Atlantic hurricane, after the Great Hurricane of 1780 and 1998's Hurricane Mitch. The Galveston Hurricane of 1900 is the deadliest natural disaster ever to strike the United States. The second-deadliest storm to strike the United States, the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane, caused more than 2,500 deaths, and the deadliest storm of recent times, Hurricane Katrina, claimed the lives of approximately 1,800 people.
The hurricane occurred before the practice of assigning official code names to tropical storms was instituted, and thus it is commonly referred to under a variety of descriptive names. Typical names for the storm include the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, the Great Galveston Hurricane, and, especially in older documents, the Galveston Flood. It is often referred to by Galveston locals as the Great Storm or the 1900 Storm.
By comparison to the 1900 Galveston flood, Katrina was a mere pretender. Such storms are beyond our power to prevent, nor can we buttress ourselves invulnerably against them. They should remind us that Man, for all his accomplishments, is still smaller than natural forces...and that those forces will sometimes speak in a voice Man cannot gainsay.