Weather: A Hellion Hell-Bent

Betsy was one of the fiercest hellions of them all. Screaming in from the Atlantic, she feinted at the Bahamas and Cuba, veered toward the Carolinas, doubled back again—and stopped teasing. When she did, she exacted a death toll that was expected to go as high as 200.

The hurricane, after hurling 140-m.p.h. winds and massive tides into the Bahamas, blew into the southern tip of Florida, where thousands of tourists and residents fled inland. Winds and the highest tides to hit the state since 1926 flooded buildings, ruined crops, disrupted utility services, splintered boats and shattered waterfronts. In a...

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