Weather History Review
Part history and part survival manual, Living in the
Danger Zone should be in the welcome wagon basket for all newcomers to
the southern Atlantic and Gulf coasts.
As the number of baby boomers moving to coastal homes grows, the
time needed in dealing with a safe evacuation swells as the routes remain
few in number.
The study of hurricanes is only about 111 years old.
Originally done as a concern for damage to cargo more than loss of
life. The Great Sea Island
Storm (August 27, 1893) killed more than 2,000 former slaves and
descendants of slaves living in the fragile cabins on Daufuskie, Hilton
Head, Pinckney, St. Helena and Edisto Island.
There was no government rescue organization, so additional
residents died from injuries, malaria, dehydration and other
hurricane-related illnesses. About
a month after the Great Sea Island Storm, Clara Barton, president of the
American Red Cross, took over the relief effort.
It took almost a year for the Red Cross to ward off the
near-starvation of 70,000 people. In
October 1893, another hurricane drowned 1,500 former slaves and
descendants of slaves in Louisiana.
The greatest American disaster remains the Great Galveston
Hurricane (September 7, 1900), recently remembered in the book Issacís
Texas was a popular resort and busy shipping port on the Gulf of Mexico.
The storm that hit the city was first spotted 600 miles east of
Puerto Rico. The storm itself
covered four hundred miles and the effects of the storm encompassed an
area of more than 150,000 square miles.
Many of the Galveston residents watched the approaching storm from
the beach, but as the storm surge swamped the island and city
approximately 8,000 were drowned. By
the time of the 1915 hurricane, Galveston had built a seawall with heights
of 17 feet in an area forty blocks long and from two to twenty blocks
Living in the Danger Zone
covers the more recent storms from Camille to Floyd.
In each storm, the scientific study expands aiding forecasting,
building, and areas of preparation. The
book gives hurricane novices an understanding of storm tracking, storm
surge, volunteer organizations, and what to store during hurricane season.
Photos of hurricane aftermath are presented and give an emotional
impact on the human element of the storms.
Bill and Fran Marscher are lifelong residents of Beaufort
County, South Carolina. Bill
Marscher is a retired engineer, and Fran Marscher is former editor of The
© 2001 Southern Scribe Reviews, All Rights Reserved