CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Thursday, Sept. 14 marks the 104th anniversary of the Hurricane of 1919, one of the deadliest hurricanes to come to the Coastal Bend.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the hurricane started as a Category 4 in the Florida Keys and was downgraded to a Category 3 by the time it reached Corpus Christi. But the damage was no less catastrophic.
Downtown Corpus Christi was badly damaged, with water reaching up to 11.5 feet and debris piled 16 feet high. NOAA said that the, "damage was estimated at 20 million dollars, which correlates to nearly 300 million dollars in 2019."
Hundreds of people living or staying in the North Beach area were fatally swept out to sea when the hurricane made landfall, with the death toll coming out to 284 identifiable deaths.
Due to the heavy amounts of crude oil preventing identifications from being made, the real death toll was probably more in the range of 600 to 1,000 people dead, NOAA said.
In the aftermath, the city of Corpus Christi put more safety measures in place in case of another hurricane, constructing the Bayfront seawall in 1940. The city's deepwater port reopened just seven years after the 1919 hurricane.