Sunday, September 21, 2008

"September Surprise": Hurricanes in history

I was amazed to hear that the remnants of Hurricane Ike (which devastated much of Galveston and Houston, Texas and surrounding areas last week and is still causing havoc), had also caused deaths, damage and power outages as far as Ohio.

Then, I read about the "September Surprise" hurricane of 1938 which buffeted New England, bringing 121 mile an hour winds to the Boston area and causing at least 600 deaths. It seems not too many Americans are safe from hurricanes.

To all those who suffered loss from Hurricane Ike and/or are still dealing with frustrations caused by lack of electrical power, here's a reminder that you are not alone. It is startling to learn how many have suffered greatly from hurricanes over the course of history, particularly before the advent of modern forecasting methods. Here's hoping that you will all be moving swiftly on the road to recovery very soon.

To read more about the hurricane of 1938, see Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities' Mass Moments Hurricane Devastates New England: September 21, 1938, PBS American Experience's The Hurricane of '38, or The Long Island Express: The Great Hurricane of 1938. Midge Frazel also has a webpage of resources for educators entitled Failure to Predict: The Lessons of the Great Hurricane of 1938.

For an interesting look at the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, see Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History.
You might also be interested in the Galveston County Daily News' website The 1900 Storm.

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