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Exploring the history of the 1919 Hurricane

Hundreds of victims of the Hurricane are buried at the Rose Hill Cemetery.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Sept. 14 marks the 100th anniversary of the 1919 hurricane that hit Corpus Christi.

The 1919 storm killed hundreds of people, many of whom drowned in the huge tidal surge that destroyed Corpus Christi's downtown area. The storm was the subject of a book written by two Coastal Bend historians.

"You can see that much of the area is totally swept clean. It sort of reminds you what happened in the Bahamas," author Jim Moloney said.

Moloney compared the hurricane damage from the 1919 hurricane that hit Corpus Christi with that of Dorian. He knows so much about Coastal Bend history that he wrote a book on the 1919 storm with Murphy Givens.

With the 100th anniversary of the deadly storm, Moloney and Givens decided to do a second printing of their book detailing that tragic event.

"A 12- to 14-foot tidal wave came across and filled the city and North Beach with water, and some of those homes flooded or were demolished by the waves," Moloney said.

The official death toll for the 1919 hurricane was 284, but according to Moloney, through his research, he believes up to 750 people could have died.

Hundreds of victims of the Hurricane are buried at the Rose Hill Cemetery.

Susan Delmonico at the cemetery said they would hold a remembrance for the victims at 8:30 a.m. Saturday.

"We are pleased to be having a service. We'll have a pastor and a priest and a lot of activities in coordination with the history museum," Delmonico said.

Moloney hopes to see a lot of people show up to the museum. He is one of the featured speakers who promises to have many stories about the hurricane and tales of those who survived one of the deadliest storms to ever hit Texas.

For more information about Moloney and Givens' book, visit www.nuecespress.com.

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