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On the night of September 21,1938, news on the radio was full of the invasion of Czechoslovakia. There was no mention of any severe weather. By the time oceanfront residents noticed an ominous color in the sky, it was too late to escape. In an age before warning systems and the ubiquity of television, this unprecedented storm caught the Northeast off guard, obliterated coastal communities, and killed seven hundred people. The Great Hurricane: 1938
is a spellbinding hour-by-hour reconstruction of one of the most destructive and powerful storms ever to hit the United States. With riveting detail, Burns weaves together the countless personal stories of loved ones lost and lives changed forever -- from those of the Moore family, washed to sea on a raft formerly their attic floor, to Katharine Hepburn, holed up in her Connecticut mansion, watching her car take to the air like a bit of paper.