DISASTERS: The Great Whirlwind

The weathermen first spotted the hurricane when it towered up off the West Indies, at about lat. 16° N., long. 60° W. It was a monstrous specimen—a spinning funnel of black storm with a 140-mile-an-hour gale lining its core of calm. For six days, moving as a body about 15 m.p.h., it churned a path 500 miles wide up & across the Atlantic. And for six days U.S. meteorologists clocked its forward progress, studied its habits, and charted its course (see SCIENCE). When it hit North Carolina's ocean bulge on the seventh day and started up the Eastern Seaboard,...

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