Later today Madison and much of Wisconsin will be impacted—only for the 4th time since weather records have been kept– with the remnants of a tropical storm raining down on us. We are expecting up to 3 inches of rain in the state.
Among the tropical systems which have made their way into Wisconsin were the remnants of our country’s deadliest natural disaster–The Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900, believed to have been responsible for 8,000 deaths in Galveston, TX—though the precise number will never be known.
Eric Larson wrote a book about that massive storm which I read years ago and very much enjoyed. September 8, 1900, began innocently in the seaside town of Galveston, Texas. Even Isaac Cline, resident meteorologist for the U.S. Weather Bureau failed to grasp the true meaning of the strange deep-sea swells and peculiar winds that greeted the city that morning. Mere hours later, Galveston found itself submerged in a monster hurricane that completely destroyed the town and killed thousands of people in what remains the greatest natural disaster in American history–and Isaac Cline found himself the victim of a devastating personal tragedy.
Using Cline’s own telegrams, letters, and reports, the testimony of scores of survivors, and our latest understanding of the science of hurricanes, Erik Larson builds a chronicle of one man’s heroic struggle and fatal miscalculation in the face of a storm of unimaginable magnitude. Riveting, powerful, and unbearably suspenseful, Isaac’s Storm is the story of what can happen when human arrogance meets the great uncontrollable force of nature.