Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Remembering the New England Hurricane of '38


I wasn't around for the 1938 hurricane, but I've heard many stories from older relatives. One of them lived in a small house on the Broad Marsh River in Wareham, MA. The house had sat on the east side of the river before the hurricane, but was blown across to a high point on the west side. Rather than move the house, the owners jacked it up, poured a new foundation, and there it sits to this day.

The Great Hurricane was highly destructive, leveling more than 57,000 houses. And due to the primitive and misused warning systems, the storm roared up the east coast with little warning, so the evacuations and emergency preparations that are standard today were absent in 1938. Between 682 and 800 lives were lost, the exact number never determined because so many were simply washed out to sea. If the south coast of New England could have been evacuated, the loss of life could have been considerably less.

Folklorist and weather historian John Horrigan will visit the library on Wednesday, October 6 at 7 pm for a slide show and lecture on the Great Hurricane of 1938 and other New England hurricanes. This is the first of our October progams for One Book, One Town. The complete schedule can be viewed by clicking here. We're reading The Circus Fire, by Stewart O'Nan. Stop by the Circulation Department for a copy.

We'd like a rough head count for the program, so if you plan to attend, click on the link above and select the Register button to save a seat. This will be an fascinating program for those did and didn't experience the hurricane. Hope to see you there.

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