The story of meteorologist Isaac Cline and America's greatest natural disaster, the 1900 hurricane that destroyed Galveston, Texas and killed over 6,000 people.


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Credited cast:
Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Patricia Bixel ...
Herself (Author, Galveston and the 1900 Storm)
Trey Brown ...
Gary Cartwright ...
Izola Collins ...
Herself (Galveston Historian)
Survivor (voice)
Caroline Kent ...
Heidi Rolfing
Erik Larson ...
Himself (Author, Isaac's Storm)
Linda MacDonald ...
Kyle J. Montgomery ...
Joseph Cline
Robin Robertson ...
Rabbi Cohen (as Robin Dale Robertson)
Jason Saucier ...
Willis Moore
Isaac's Daughter
Jon Stafford ...
Issac Cline


By the summer of 1900, Galveston, Texas was one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, and its citizens were full of optimism as the 20th century approached. One of those citizens was Isaac Cline, appointed a decade earlier to head the U.S. Weather Bureau office in Galveston. But on September 8 of that year, a Category 4 hurricane washed away most of the city and claimed more than 6,000 lives--still the deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history. This documentary focuses on Isaac Cline's role in the disaster: was he (as local legend has it) a heroic figure who saved lives by warning the population to flee, or did scientific hubris prevent him from seeing the danger until it was too late? Written by yortsnave

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Release Date:

August 2004 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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[first lines]
Narrator: September 1900. At a time of boundless optimism, in a city poised for greatness, Isaac Cline puts his faith in science-and 37,000 are left unprepared for the deadliest natural disaster in American history.
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User Reviews

Interesting view of American thinking in 1900...
25 September 2006 | by (Columbus, OH USA) – See all my reviews

I have seen this documentary film a couple of times now on the History Channel. It tells the story of the (unnamed) hurricane that destroyed the coastal city of Galveston Texas in the year 1900. Actually, it's really the story of weather forecaster Isaac Cline, who failed to fully warn the population and suffered the consequences along with them (his wife died in the storm). In my opinion, the most interesting point brought out in the film is the mindset of Isaac Cline and others like him--they believed that the technological and scientific progress of the 19th century had given mankind (read: Americans) control over the forces of nature. A decade before the storm, Mr. Cline had written a newspaper article saying that Galveston would never be in danger of destruction from a hurricane. The hubris and belief in American superiority are further illustrated by the fact that the U.S. Weather Bureau basically ignored the Cuban weather forecasters during the 1900 hurricane season, apparently believing that the Cubans had nothing significant to offer regarding Caribbean storms!

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