Raising Galveston

Raising Galveston
Galveston today, and at 5 feet SLR. The entire city was elevated after the 1900 hurricane.

Galveston today, and at 5 feet SLR. The entire city was elevated after the 1900 hurricane.

Early Adaptation to sea level rise

Galveston has been hit by hurricanes more than 15 times since 1891, including the deadliest storm in U.S. history, in 1900, which killed more than 6,000 people.

To protect the island, the 17-foot-high, 10 mile-long Galveston Seawall was built in several phases beginning in 1902. And, as an example of incremental adaptation, portions of Galveston were raised using dredged sand. Engineers raised whole blocks of homes on jacks and starting with the seawall, sloped the sand gradually down toward the bay. The job took 7 years—500 city blocks had been raised from a few inches to as much as 16 feet.

Sacred Heart Church after the Hurricane of 1900. 

Sacred Heart Church after the Hurricane of 1900.