Government Forecast Bureaucracy Killed Thousands In Texas In 1900

The forecaster on duty in Galveston back then, Isaac Cline, had tried to issue a warning, Emanuel said.

“His hands were tied rather badly by the Washington bureaucracy,” Emanuel said. “The U.S. Weather Bureau had forbidden Cline from issuing his own hurricane warning, it had to go through Washington first.

“He understood a hurricane was coming, but his hands were tied.”

At the time, Cubans had become expert hurricane forecasters and had established “the very first hurricane observation network.” But just three weeks before the deadly storm, the federal government sent out an edict that meteorological information from Cuba to the U.S. was forbidden.

“That one was a confluence of a lot of silly politics,” he said.

After the flood, which claimed his wife and their unborn baby, Cline “was instrumental in agitating for a more advanced network of observations,” Emanuel said.

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