At the dawn of the twentieth century, a great confidence suffused America. Isaac Cline was one of the era's new men, a scientist who believed he knew all there was to know about the motion of clouds and the behavior of storms. The idea that a hurricane could damage the city of Galveston, Texas, where he was based, was to him preposterous, "an absurd delusion." It was 1900, a year when America felt bigger and stronger than ever before. Nothing in nature could hobble the gleaming city of Galveston, then a magical place that seemed destined to become the New York of the Gulf. That August, a strange, prolonged heat wave gripped the nation and killed scores of people in New York and Chicago. Odd things seemed to happen everywhere: A plague of crickets engulfed Waco. The Bering Glacier began to shrink. Rain fell on Galveston with greater intensity than anyone could remember. Far away, in Africa, immense thunderstorms blossomed over the city of Dakar, and great currents of wind converged. A wave of atmospheric turbulence slipped from the coast of western Africa. Most such waves faded quickly. This one did not. In Cuba, America's overconfidence was made all too obvious by the Weather Bureau's obsession with controlling hurricane forecasts, even though Cuba's indigenous weathermen had pioneered hurricane science. As the bureau's forecasters assured the nation that all was calm in the Caribbean, Cuba's own weathermen fretted about ominous signs in the sky. A curious stillness gripped Antigua. Only a few unlucky sea captains discovered that the storm had achieved an intensity no man alive had ever experienced. In Galveston, reassured by Cline's belief that no hurricane could seriously damage the city, there was celebration. Children played in the rising water. Hundreds of people gathered at the beach to marvel at the fantastically tall waves and gorgeous pink sky, until the surf began ripping the city's beloved beachfront apart. Within the next few hours Galveston would endure
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Isaac Cline, a meteorologist in Galveston, was confident of his ability to predict the weather, but he wasn't prepared for the meteorological equivalent of The Big One which hit Galveston, which remains to this day the worst ever storm to hit America.
One of the earliest sources of humanity's religious impulse was severe weather, which ancient peoples attributed to the wrath of storm gods. Enlightenment thinkers derided such beliefs as superstition and predicted they would pass away as humans became more scientifically and theologically sophisticated. But in America, scientific and theological hubris came face-to-face with the tornado, nature's most violent windstorm. Striking the United States more than any other nation, tornadoes have consistently defied scientists' efforts to unlock their secrets. Meteorologists now acknowledge that even the most powerful computers will likely never be able to predict a tornado's precise path. Similarly, tornadoes have repeatedly brought Americans to the outer limits of theology, drawing them into the vortex of such mysteries as how to reconcile suffering with a loving God and whether there is underlying purpose or randomness in the universe. In this groundbreaking history, Peter Thuesen captures the harrowing drama of tornadoes, as clergy, theologians, meteorologists, and ordinary citizens struggle to make sense of these death-dealing tempests. He argues that, in the tornado, Americans experience something that is at once culturally peculiar (the indigenous storm of the national imagination) and religiously primal (the sense of awe before an unpredictable and mysterious power). He also shows that, in an era of climate change, the weather raises the issue of society's complicity in natural disasters. In the whirlwind, Americans confront the question of their own destiny-how much is self-determined and how much is beyond human understanding or control.
In this work, witnesses to this deadly disaster describe, in many never-before-published accounts, their encounters with this monstrous storm.
A ministry to railroad men and their families lay at the heart of chapel car work, which over a period of fifty years saw thirteen rail chapel cars minister to thousands of towns, mainly west of the Mississippi. Author Wilma Rugh Taylor's portrayal of this ministry for the one car, Good Will, which served Texas, provides a view of life in towns such as Denison, Texline, Marshall, San Antonio, Laredo, Abilene, and Dalhart. The railroads that carried the Texas chapel car included the Texas & Pacific; the Missouri, Kansas & Topeka; the Southern Pacific; the International & Great Northern; and the Mexican International.
Following in the footsteps of its popular predecessor, the second edition of Emergency Management: The American Experience 19002010 provides the background needed to understand the key political and policy underpinnings of emergency management, exploring how major "focusing events" have shaped the development of emergency management. It builds on
The Power of the Sea describes our struggle to understand the physics of the sea, so we can use that knowledge to predict when the sea will unleash its fury against us. In a wide-sweeping narrative spanning much of human history, Bruce Parker, former chief scientist of the National Ocean Service, interweaves thrilling and often moving stories of unpredicted natural disaster with an accessible account of scientific discovery. The result is a compelling scientific journey, from ancient man's first crude tide predictions to today's advanced early warning ability based on the Global Ocean Observing System. It is a journey still underway, as we search for ways to predict tsunamis and rogue waves and critical aspects of El Niño and climate change caused by global warming.
Recounts incidents of natural and man-made disasters, incorporating eyewitness testimony and forensic information, and addresses catastrophies from the Johnstown flood to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
SuperSummary, a modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, offers high-quality study guides for challenging works of literature. This 69-page guide for "Isaac's Storm" by Erik Larson includes detailed chapter summaries and analysis covering 6 chapters, as well as several more in-depth sections of expert-written literary analysis. Featured content includes commentary on major characters, 25 important quotes, essay topics, and key themes like American Hubris at the Turn of the Century and The Effect of Politics on Severe Weather.
Incorporating all the great information writers have to come to expect for more than 80 years, this latest edition features higher profiles of its author interviews, five new market sections, and the most up-to-date market listings available to help readers find success.
A guide for the freelance writer, listing pertinent information about publications and editors