This is the spellbinding hour-by-hour reconstruction of the most destructive and powerful storm ever to strike New England. On the night of September 20, 1938, the news on the radio was full of Hitler's pending invasion of Czechoslovakia. Severe weather wasn't mentioned; only light rain was forecast for the following day. In a matter of hours, however, a hurricane of unprecedented force would tear through one of the wealthiest and most populated stretches of coastline in America, obliterating communities from Long Island to Providence, destroying entire fishing fleets from Montauk to Narragansett Bay, and leaving 700 people dead. They never knew what hit them. Early that morning, several fishermen heading out on calm seas noticed a sudden drop in the barometer and decided to turn back. Hurtling toward them at the unheard-of speed of 67 miles per hour was a fierce storm. It struck Long Island first with the tide at an all-time high under a full, equinox moon. The sea rose out of its shores like a demon, with waves riding a surge of 50 feet that hit the earth so hard they were registered by a seismograph in Alaska. Winds whipped up to 186 miles per hour, trashing boats and smashing homes from West Hampton to Connecticut and Rhode Island. Using newspaper reports, survivor testimony, and archival sources, Cherie Burns reconstructs this harrowing day and the amazing tales of heroism, survival, and loss that occurred. Those who survived still remember the Great Hurricane as the most terrifying moment of their lives. Burns' masterful storytelling follows the storm's monstrous path and preserves for posterity the way the Great Hurricane changed New England forever.More
2005 Publishers Weekly Listen Up Award, Nonfiction
"From start to finish, this powerful story of nature's fury and human survival pulls the reader in and doesn't let go." (Publishers Weekly)
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Great Storm Stories