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» Wednesday, September 21, 2005In the Shadow of Rita
Today is the 67th anniversary of the Hurricane of 1938. My parents and their families lived through this terrible storm, but many were not so fortunate. Six hundred and eighty people from Long Island to eastern Massachusetts died and $4.7 billion dollars (in today's money) damage was done. They had no warning because the upper echelons at the Weather Bureau said that hurricanes never struck New England and that the storm would assuredly go out to sea. The hurricane crushed homes, lighthouses, and fishing fleets. The train from New York to Boston was nearly overwhelmed by the storm surge. The wind and rain even did damage inland: it destroyed 25 percent of Vermont's maple trees and ruined lumbering in New Hampshire. Traditional New England towns with tree-lined streets and church steeples were changed forever. Downtown Providence was under seventeen feet of water. Looters appeared as soon as darkness fell. One woman drowned in her car in a parking lot only yards from safety.
The American Experience: "The Hurricane of '38"
United States Hurricanes: Hurricane of 1938
Stamford [CT] History: Hurricane of '38
A true story from the Hurricane of 1938
R.A. Scotti's Sudden Sea, a beautifully writtenand chillinghistory of the storm
Everett S. Allen's A Wind to Shake the World, written by a newspaper reporter who started work on September 21, 1938