On the afternoon of September 8, 1900, 200-mile-per-hour winds and 15-foot waves slammed into Galveston, Texas. By dawn the next day, the city that existed just hours before was gone. Shattered, grief-stricken survivors emerged to witness a level of destruction never before seen: 8,000 corpses littered the streets and were buried under the massive wreckage. Rushing water had lifted buildings from their foundations, while intensive winds had upended girders and trestles, driving them through house walls and into sidewalks. In less than twenty-four hours, one storm destroyed a major American metropolis --- and awakened a nation to the terrifying power of nature.