Many families arrived in the late 1800s and had just started to settle in when disaster struck. On September 8, 1900, the skies grew black as the Galveston Hurricane pummeled the Gulf coast with 120 mile an hour winds and 15-20 foot wave surges. The ruthless winds traveled all the way to Katy, leaving thousands dead in its path.
The hurricane was deemed the worst natural disaster in U.S. history killing an estimated 6,000 – 12,000 people. Although nobody in Katy perished, historians say the 1900 Galveston hurricane was more deadly than any storm in the U.S. before or since.
Virtually every structure in Katy was completely destroyed or structurally damaged.
At the time, lumber was not abundant or affordable so resourceful Katy settlers used debris to rebuild what they could.
“If a building was no longer usable or needed, they stripped the usable building material from it and used it to build new homes, stores, or buildings,” says Lopez. Lopez says the 1900 hurricane is the reason there aren’t that many historical buildings left in Katy.