Various History

Discussion in 'History' started by StrangerInAStrangeLand, Jun 17, 2014.

  1. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    Little Girl's Tragedy Was Catalyst for Live TV News

    STORIES THAT SHAPED THE CENTURY / From the Pages of the Los Angeles Times

    The century was not quite at the halfway mark in 1949 and television, the medium that would come to dominate the rest of it, scarcely registered as much more than a novelty--until an April day when a 3-year-old girl who had probably never even seen a television program suddenly became one, and so altered television forever.

    It was an hour or two before dinner time when Kathy Fiscus, her older sister and two cousins were scampering through an open field in San Marino, not far from the Fiscus home. In an instant, Kathy vanished, slipping down an abandoned well, trapped in a pipe 14 inches wide. As her family searched, they heard her crying faintly from 90 feet below ground.

    Within an hour, police and firemen had arrived and began summoning an array of equipment that would ultimately include bulldozers, well diggers and clamshell cranes. Volunteers showed up, too--laborers and engineers to dig, a circus thin man and a jockey to try to descend into the well. The Screen Actors Guild was asked to search its files for a midget who might attempt a rescue. 20th Century Fox donated a set of movie lights to illuminate the rescue scene.

    Soon, other, unfamiliar equipment and other men showed up too: the lumbering trucks bearing cumbersome live TV apparatus and reporters from local stations KTTV and KTLA.

    Perhaps it was a good thing that so few people owned TV sets at the time, because the programming usually wasn't much to brag about: boxing, wrestling, roller derby, dramas that were televised stage plays.

    Newscasts then were at most 15 minutes long, little more than radio with a face. And then came Kathy Fiscus, an event that helped to convert television from toy to tool. Of the 50-hour effort to rescue the child, 27 hours and 30 minutes were televised live by KTLA.

    At the time, there were perhaps 20,000 TV sets in Los Angeles, many of them in bars so patrons could watch sporting events. As word spread that this race to rescue could be seen live, neighbors scanned the roof lines for antennas to see who among them might have a TV. Strangers crowded into hardware stores where sets were sold. A young reporter named Cecil Smith, who would become The Times' TV critic one day, was driving home at 2 a.m. when he saw a hundred people in front of a store window, watching the Fiscus rescue attempt on TV.

    Such fascination with live TV news would become a regular feature of American life as viewers followed riots, high-speed chases and even low-speed chases on the small screen. And in 1987, the successful, 58-hour rescue of "Baby Jessica," an 18-month-old Texas girl who fell down a water well, again enthralled the nation; a TV movie of the event was titled "Everybody's Baby."

    In 1949, Kathy Fiscus was everybody's baby. Television helped to make an instant family of the nation. Even as rescuers were digging, calls offering advice and help flooded police stations, newspaper offices, radio and TV stations.

    They brought Kathy out of the pipe on Palm Sunday. It fell to the doctor who had delivered her to announce to the world that she had died not long after she fell in.

    On the day Kathy slipped down the well, her father, a water engineer, had been in Sacramento testifying about the urgent need to seal abandoned wells; his concern was oil pollution. Such laws were soon passed for safety reasons in California and other states and, in many cases, they were named the Kathy Fiscus Law.

    Newspapers picked up the Fiscus story thereafter, recapping it meticulously and in great detail, tracking the fate of the rescuers who had toiled so long for a child they didn't know. Newspapers told of one rescuer who bought a TV set with some of the money the grateful public had sent; he donated the set to little girls in a Duarte tuberculosis sanitarium, and the girls named it "Kathy."

    But the immediacy of the live pictures had been matchless, setting a standard for broadcasts and for viewers' expectations. The same day that Kathy dominated the news, a little Santa Monica girl had drowned in her family's backyard fishpond, and letter writers demanded to know why the public wasn't similarly aroused. The answer was, because it wasn't on TV.

    A half-century later, Mrs. Alice Fiscus lives in the San Diego area, and once in a while people see the name on a check or her credit card and remember, and ask about it. All because of television. "The world is right there, every minute now," says Mrs. Fiscus. "It's right in your lap 24 hours a day." And, she adds, "There's times when you'd just as soon not know for 48 hours."

    The well lies beneath a sports field now. Residents have installed a bronze plaque nearby to commemorate the 1949 event. And the child's own grave marker bears the epitaph: "a little girl who brought the world together--for a moment."

    Woody Allen fictionalized the Kathy Fiscus tragedy in his 1987 film Radio Days. In the film a little girl named Polly Phelps falls into a well near Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. It becomes a big national story and, like Kathy, little Polly does not survive. The Well (1951) and Billy Wilder's 1951 film Ace in the Hole were also partially inspired by the event. In Rumer Godden's 1969 novel In This House of Brede, an American woman takes the veil in an English convent after the death of her son in a similar incident.

    An episode of Irwin Allen's series Land of the Giants, "Rescue", is said to be based on this event.
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  3. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    Published: June 14, 1981

    FRASCATI, Italy, June 13— Workers abandoned their effort today to save a 6-year-old boy trapped in a muddy artesian well after an amateur cave explorer reported at dawn that the child's body showed no signs of life.

    Dr. Evasio Fava, one of two physicians who had been monitoring the child's condition with listening devices, agreed that the boy, Alfredo Rampi, was probably dead after more than three days in the well.

    ''There has been no sign of life for more than 12 hours and it's unrealistic to expect him to be alive,'' the doctor said. ''He's rigid; he's stiff,'' the cave explorer, 24-year-old Donato Caruso, told rescue workers at the surface via walkie-talkie.

    President Remained at the Site

    A crowd of several hundred bystanders, including President Sandro Pertini, groaned. The boy's mother, Francesca, left the site in tears.

    The 4-foot, 3-inch Mr. Caruso descended 200 feet in the well near Frascati, a hillside community nestled among vineyards and olive trees 12 miles south of Rome, after five other volunteers failed to rescue Alfredo from the well.

    The cave explorer tried to attach a handcuff to the boy's wrist, but it slipped off. After Mr. Caruso emerged, shivering from the cold, authorities said they would not send anyone else down the well.

    ''It's not worth risking other human lives,'' a rescue supervisor said. Instead, he said, workers would finish drilling a parallel shaft in hopes of reaching the boy's body, a process expected to take at least 24 hours. Millions Follow Rescue Attempt

    Since young Alfredo stumbled into the well Wednesday evening while playing at his grandparents' home, millions of Italians have followed the rescue effort in live television broadcasts from the scene.

    The Italian President, his suit covered with dust, kept an allnight vigil near the mouth of the well. Pope John Paul II sent a message to Alfredo's parents through a local bishop, offering his blessing and prayer.

    Police and fire officials and the state-run television network said that their switchboards had been flooded with calls, some from as far away as the United States.

    A angry caller asked why the cave explorer was not using cloth gloves to get a better grip on Alfredo's body. Another suggested that non-Italian NATO technicians should be brought in ''because Italians can't seem to do it right.'' Rescuers Are Criticized

    An article in Rome's biggest newspaper, Il Messaggero, was headlined, ''Mistakes and Delays - Too Many.'' ''Some people are just shouting obscenities, attacking us for a lousy rescue effort,'' said a fire department official. Alfredo stumbled into the well Wednesday evening and got caught at a point where the well, 16 inches at the surface, narrows to about 10 inches.

    Rescue workers rushed to the scene and lowered a walkie-talkie to him, and later he could be heard whimpering and crying out to his mother. Rescuers at the site were besieged by dozens of men and boys who offered to descend the well.

    Firemen in the parallel rescue shaft almost reached Alfredo 120 feet down late yesterday, but the boy slipped another 80 feet. Rescuers speculated that vibrations from the drilling might have widened the well. Thereafter, Aflredo's body repeatedly slipped out of the grasp of rescuers.

    Franco Patorelli, an engineer who supervised the drilling operation, said: ''We have a clear conscience. We've made all possible and imaginable efforts to bring him out alive. All our efforts were in vain for many reasons.''

    The attempted rescue was a major media event. It was the first time in Italy that a live outside broadcast had attracted millions of people to follow the events on TV. Initially, images were transmitted live because it was believed that there would be a quick and positive outcome. After some time the situation appeared to be slowly worsening, but this did not interrupt the transmissions. It posed many questions about privacy and the ethics of broadcasting such events which sparked a widespread public debate.

    Italian alternative rock band Baustelle wrote a song about the tragedy. The song, "Alfredo", is track 10 on their 2008 album "Amen". Among other prizes, Amen won that year's "Targa Tenco", one of the most prestigious music acknowledgments in Italy.
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  5. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    Baby Jessica Biography (1986–)

    Jessica Morales became famous in 1987, when, at 18 months old, she fell down a well in her aunt's backyard. She remained trapped for 58 hours while America watched on CNN.


    Born in Texas in 1986, Jessica McClure Morales, also known as "Baby Jessica," became famous in 1987, when, at 18 months old, she fell down a 22-foot well in her aunt's backyard. She remained trapped in the well for 58 hours, while America watched on CNN, before being rescued.

    Sudden Fame

    Remembered worldwide as "Baby Jessica," Jessica McClure Morales was born March 26, 1986, in the oil city of Midland, Texas. She was born to teenage parents, Reba "Cissy" McClure and Lewis "Chip" McClure, who had fallen on hard times in the depths of the Texas oil bust of the mid-1980s.

    The first 18 months of Baby Jessica's life passed without the world at large taking much notice. Then, on the morning of Wednesday, October 14, 1987, she suddenly became the most famous child in the country. Jessica's aunt Jamie Moore ran a daycare center out of her home, where that morning Jessica was playing with four other children in the backyard under the supervision of her mother, Cissy, who briefly went inside to answer a phone call, leaving the children momentarily unattended. Minutes later, she heard the kids screaming and rushed back outside to find that her daughter had disappeared. She soon discovered that Baby Jessica had fallen into an eight-inch diameter well and become trapped deep down in its shaft.

    How exactly Baby Jessica fell into the well remains unclear. According to her mother, the opening had been covered up by a heavy rock to prevent just such an accident. "I didn't know what to do," Cissy McClure later recalled. "I just ran in and called the police. They were there within three minutes, but it felt like a lifetime."

    Baby Jessica remained trapped in the well, 22 feet below ground and only 8 inches wide, for the next 58 hours, while frantic rescue crews attempted to save her life and the entire nation watched transfixed as the drama played out on television. Because she had fallen so deep into the earth -- beneath layers of rock harder than granite -- and because the diameter of the well was so narrow, the rescue mission was extraordinarily difficult.

    Using a large rat-hole rig, a machine normally used to plant telephone poles in the ground, rescue teams drilled a 30-inch wide, 29-foot deep hole parallel to the well. They then began the difficult process of drilling a horizontal tunnel between the two wells about two feet below where Baby Jessica was trapped.

    In the meantime, rescue workers pumped oxygen into the well and attempted to maintain constant communication with Baby Jessica, who moaned, wailed and for a while even sang nursery rhymes to pass the time. "After listening to her for so long, I could tell her moods," a detective on the scene recalled. "At one point she was singing. At another point, when a jackhammer started up, she didn't say any words but used kind of a huffy little voice. You could tell it was an angry voice. I would say 80 percent of the time she was either crying or making some kind of noise we could hear. When we weren't calling words of encouragement, we'd tell her to sing for us. I'll never forget her singing 'Winnie the Pooh.'"

    The entire rescue ordeal was covered live on CNN, the nation's first -- and at that time only -- 24-hour news network. For only the second time in American history (the first being the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger a year earlier) the entire nation watched literally around-the-clock as a dramatic news story unfolded live on television.

    Dubbed "everybody's baby," Baby Jessica tugged at heartstrings of millions of viewers; thousands of strangers sent her family flowers, toys, cards and money. Donations, totaling in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, were set aside in a trust fund for her to inherit at the age of 25. In fact, many point to CNN's coverage of Baby Jessica's rescue as a turning point in the history of news media, the genesis of the era of the 24-hour news cycle.

    Finally, on the evening of October 16, 1987, Baby Jessica was lifted safely out of the well. The Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph of her rescue, snapped by Scott Shaw, shows Baby Jessica cradled in the arms of a paramedic, her head wrapped in white gauze, her arms caked in dirt, her bleary eyes just barely open. Over the next few years, Baby Jessica underwent 15 surgeries to treat all of the complications from her three days trapped without food or water inside the well. She ultimately did regain full health. Chronic but controllable rheumatoid arthritis, a missing small toe on her right foot and a prominent diagonal scar across her forehead are the only permanent physical signs of her ordeal.

    Later Life

    Once she grew older, Baby Jessica could not remember anything about her three days trapped in a well in her aunt's backyard or her lengthy recovery. She did not even learn her own story until she was five years old and saw an episode of Rescue 911, recounting the story of a baby girl's rescue from a well three years earlier. Moved to tears by the story, she asked her stepmother (her parents had since divorced) what the girl's name was and learned it was her.

    Ever since those dramatic three days in 1987, Jessica McClure Morales has lived an extraordinarily ordinary life. She graduated from Greenwood High School outside Midland in 2004, and in 2006 she married a man named Daniel Morales. She has two children, Simon and Sheyenne, and stays home to care for them. On March 26, 2011, her 25th birthday, Morales gained access to her trust fund, now worth approximately 800,000 dollars, which she plans to save for her children's college education.

    Morales does not often speak about her rescue, and in a recent interview she insisted it has had very little impact on her life. "Couldn't cage me then, why should it cage me now?" she asked rhetorically. And while people who recognize her by the scar on the forehead still call her "Baby Jessica," Morales says the name does not bother her. "Like they told Lil' Bow Wow, you'll never get rid of the 'little' part," she said. "Cause you'll always be what you are remembered as."

    Media impact

    CNN, then a fledgling cable news outlet, was on the scene with around-the-clock coverage of the rescue effort. This massive media saturation of the ordeal prompted then-President Ronald Reagan to state that "everybody in America became godmothers and godfathers of Jessica while this was going on."

    From the beginning, and throughout the incident, the switchboard for a local media outlet, KMID-TV, was flooded with telephone calls from news organizations and private individuals around the world, seeking the latest information on rescue efforts—and in some cases, sharing their own insight into this and similar incidents.

    In 1988, Jessica and her family appeared on Live with Regis and Kathie Lee to talk about the incident.

    Ron Short, a muscular roofing contractor who was born without collar bones because of cleidocranial dysostosis and so could collapse his shoulders to work in cramped corners, arrived at the site and offered to go down the shaft; they accepted his offer, but did not use it.[1][2]

    The photograph of her being rescued fetched the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for spot news photography to Scott Shaw of the Odessa American.[3]

    ABC made a television movie of the story in 1989, Everybody's Baby: The Rescue of Jessica McClure, starring Patty Duke and Beau Bridges. The film featured, as extras, many participants in the actual rescue and its coverage.

    On May 30, 2007, USA Today ranked McClure number 22 on its list of "25 lives of indelible impact."[4]

    The footage of McClure being rescued is shown in Michael Jackson's music video "Man in the Mirror" and in the movie V for Vendetta.

    In 2010, blues musician Charlie Musselwhite released an album titled "The Well". In the title song he credits McClure's ordeal for inspiring him to quit drinking, stating, "She was trapped in there with a broken arm in the dark, in a life-and-death situation she was singing nursery rhymes to herself and being brave,"..."It made my problems seem tiny. So as a prayer to her and myself, I decided I wasn't going to drink till she got out of that well. It was like I was tricking myself, telling myself that I wasn't going to quit for good, just until she got out. It took three days to get her out, and I haven't had a drink since."[5]

    After the incident

    Following her rescue on October 16, 1987, surgeons had to amputate a toe due to gangrene from loss of circulation while in the well. She also has a scar on her forehead where her head rubbed against the well casing. She has had 15 surgeries over the years, and has no first-hand memory of the event.[6] McClure graduated from Greenwood High School, in a small community near Midland, in May 2004.

    On January 28, 2006, McClure married Daniel Morales at a Church of Christ in a small rural community outside of Midland. The couple met at a day-care center where his sister worked with McClure.[7] The couple have two children: son Simon and daughter Sheyenne.

    On March 26, 2011, when McClure turned 25, she received a trust fund of donations worth up to $800,000. Her father said she had discussed setting up a trust fund for the college education of her two children. It had earlier helped in the purchase of her present home, which is less than two miles (3.2 km) from the site of the 1987 incident.[6]

    In popular culture

    An episode of The Simpsons, "Radio Bart" parodied the media attention given to McClure.
    In 1990, director Bharathan made an Indian film in the Malayalam language titled Malootty about the rescue of Jessica McClure, starring Shamili, Jayaram and Urvashi.
    In one episode of Whose Line Is It Anyway?, during the game "Props", Wayne Brady and Colin Mochrie were given a funnel-shaped prop. During one turn, Wayne puts the prop on the floor and yells into it, "Baby Jessica!" The audience responded with loud gasps and some light boos, which caused Colin to jokingly take a big step away from Wayne to act like he had nothing to do with it.
    The Company Flow lyric "When I bomb it's the type of shit to make Baby Jessica jump in the well again" on the 1995 song "Bad Touch Example" is a reference to McClure.
    Eminem references McClure in the song "Oh No."
    An episode of Bob's Burgers, "Boyz 4 Now" referred to McClure's rescue when discussing imaginative table settings. "You have to look for your dinner for two days, as the nation watches..."
    An episode of American Dad, airing December 23, 2012, parodied McClure's ordeal using Francine Smith as the grown up baby.
    An episode of It's Garry Shandling's Show, airing March 11, 1988 parodied the ordeal. In it, host Garry Shandling does not appear for the opening monologue and is missing for much of the show, until the cast discover he has fallen down a recently excavated 23 ft hole.
    An episode of Spin City, "How To Bury a Millionaire," also parodies the incident. When the mayor goes to visit the site, the child has already been pulled out. When absent-mindedly walking through the site, the mayor falls into the rescue tunnel and then needs to be rescued himself.
    Lucie Brock-Broido's long narrative poem "Jessica, from the Well" tells the story from the child's point of view, describing her as having a basic understanding of the physical and mythic elements of her situation. It has been reprinted numerous times.[8]
    The Walker, Texas Ranger episode "Miracle at Middle Creek" is based on Baby Jessica. At one point a reporter remarks, "This is Baby Jessica all over again."
    In an episode of Saturday Night Live that aired November 23rd, 2013, Jessica is shown as an employee at Best Buy. Two of the characters exchange jokingly, "Well now you work at Best Buy", "Yeah, you was better off in the well!"
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  7. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    Afghan Girl A Life Revealed

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    Her eyes have captivated the world since she appeared on our cover in 1985. Now we can tell her story.

    In 1984 photographer Steve McCurry immortalized the haunted eyes of a 12-year-old Afghan refugee in a camp on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Her image (left)—first published on the cover of a 1985 National Geographic—became a symbol of the plight of refugees.

    For 17 years the photographer tried to find the mystery "Afghan girl" again. In 2002 he succeeded—and again captured her on film.

    By Cathy Newman
    Photograph by Steve McCurry

    She remembers the moment. The photographer took her picture. She remembers her anger. The man was a stranger. She had never been photographed before. Until they met again 17 years later, she had not been photographed since.

    The photographer remembers the moment too. The light was soft. The refugee camp in Pakistan was a sea of tents. Inside the school tent he noticed her first. Sensing her shyness, he approached her last. She told him he could take her picture. “I didn’t think the photograph of the girl would be different from anything else I shot that day,” he recalls of that morning in 1984 spent documenting the ordeal of Afghanistan’s refugees.

    The portrait by Steve McCurry turned out to be one of those images that sears the heart, and in June 1985 it ran on the cover of this magazine. Her eyes are sea green. They are haunted and haunting, and in them you can read the tragedy of a land drained by war. She became known around National Geographic as the “Afghan girl,” and for 17 years no one knew her name.

    In January a team from National Geographic Television & Film’s EXPLORER brought McCurry to Pakistan to search for the girl with green eyes. They showed her picture around Nasir Bagh, the still standing refugee camp near Peshawar where the photograph had been made. A teacher from the school claimed to know her name. A young woman named Alam Bibi was located in a village nearby, but McCurry decided it wasn’t her.

    No, said a man who got wind of the search. He knew the girl in the picture. They had lived at the camp together as children. She had returned to Afghanistan years ago, he said, and now lived in the mountains near Tora Bora. He would go get her.

    It took three days for her to arrive. Her village is a six-hour drive and three-hour hike across a border that swallows lives. When McCurry saw her walk into the room, he thought to himself: This is her.

    Names have power, so let us speak of hers. Her name is Sharbat Gula, and she is Pashtun, that most warlike of Afghan tribes. It is said of the Pashtun that they are only at peace when they are at war, and her eyes—then and now—burn with ferocity. She is 28, perhaps 29, or even 30. No one, not even she, knows for sure. Stories shift like sand in a place where no records exist.

    Time and hardship have erased her youth. Her skin looks like leather. The geometry of her jaw has softened. The eyes still glare; that has not softened. “She’s had a hard life,” said McCurry. “So many here share her story.” Consider the numbers. Twenty-three years of war, 1.5 million killed, 3.5 million refugees: This is the story of Afghanistan in the past quarter century.

    Now, consider this photograph of a young girl with sea green eyes. Her eyes challenge ours. Most of all, they disturb. We cannot turn away.

    “There is not one family that has not eaten the bitterness of war,” a young Afghan merchant said in the 1985 National Geographic story that appeared with Sharbat’s photograph on the cover. She was a child when her country was caught in the jaws of the Soviet invasion. A carpet of destruction smothered countless villages like hers. She was perhaps six when Soviet bombing killed her parents. By day the sky bled terror. At night the dead were buried. And always, the sound of planes, stabbing her with dread.

    “We left Afghanistan because of the fighting,” said her brother, Kashar Khan, filling in the narrative of her life. He is a straight line of a man with a raptor face and piercing eyes. “The Russians were everywhere. They were killing people. We had no choice.”

    Shepherded by their grandmother, he and his four sisters walked to Pakistan. For a week they moved through mountains covered in snow, begging for blankets to keep warm.

    “You never knew when the planes would come,” he recalled. “We hid in caves.”

    The journey that began with the loss of their parents and a trek across mountains by foot ended in a refugee camp tent living with strangers.

    “Rural people like Sharbat find it difficult to live in the cramped surroundings of a refugee camp,” explained Rahimullah Yusufzai, a respected Pakistani journalist who acted as interpreter for McCurry and the television crew. “There is no privacy. You live at the mercy of other people.” More than that, you live at the mercy of the politics of other countries. “The Russian invasion destroyed our lives,” her brother said.

    It is the ongoing tragedy of Afghanistan. Invasion. Resistance. Invasion. Will it ever end? “Each change of government brings hope,” said Yusufzai. “Each time, the Afghan people have found themselves betrayed by their leaders and by outsiders professing to be their friends and saviors.”

    In the mid-1990s, during a lull in the fighting, Sharbat Gula went home to her village in the foothills of mountains veiled by snow. To live in this earthen-colored village at the end of a thread of path means to scratch out an existence, nothing more. There are terraces planted with corn, wheat, and rice, some walnut trees, a stream that spills down the mountain (except in times of drought), but no school, clinic, roads, or running water.

    Here is the bare outline of her day. She rises before sunrise and prays. She fetches water from the stream. She cooks, cleans, does laundry. She cares for her children; they are the center of her life. Robina is 13. Zahida is three. Alia, the baby, is one. A fourth daughter died in infancy. Sharbat has never known a happy day, her brother says, except perhaps the day of her marriage.

    Her husband, Rahmat Gul, is slight in build, with a smile like the gleam of a lantern at dusk. She remembers being married at 13. No, he says, she was 16. The match was arranged.

    He lives in Peshawar (there are few jobs in Afghanistan) and works in a bakery. He bears the burden of medical bills; the dollar a day he earns vanishes like smoke. Her asthma, which cannot tolerate the heat and pollution of Peshawar in summer, limits her time in the city and with her husband to the winter. The rest of the year she lives in the mountains.

    At the age of 13, Yusufzai, the journalist, explained, she would have gone into purdah, the secluded existence followed by many Islamic women once they reach puberty.

    “Women vanish from the public eye,” he said. In the street she wears a plum-colored burka, which walls her off from the world and from the eyes of any man other than her husband. “It is a beautiful thing to wear, not a curse,” she says.

    Faced by questions, she retreats into the black shawl wrapped around her face, as if by doing so she might will herself to evaporate. The eyes flash anger. It is not her custom to subject herself to the questions of strangers.

    Had she ever felt safe?

    ”No. But life under the Taliban was better. At least there was peace and order.”

    Had she ever seen the photograph of herself as a girl?


    She can write her name, but cannot read. She harbors the hope of education for her children. “I want my daughters to have skills,” she said. “I wanted to finish school but could not. I was sorry when I had to leave.”

    Education, it is said, is the light in the eye. There is no such light for her. It is possibly too late for her 13-year-old daughter as well, Sharbat Gula said. The two younger daughters still have a chance.

    The reunion between the woman with green eyes and the photographer was quiet. On the subject of married women, cultural tradition is strict. She must not look—and certainly must not smile—at a man who is not her husband. She did not smile at McCurry. Her expression, he said, was flat. She cannot understand how her picture has touched so many. She does not know the power of those eyes.

    Such knife-thin odds. That she would be alive. That she could be found. That she could endure such loss. Surely, in the face of such bitterness the spirit could atrophy. How, she was asked, had she survived?

    The answer came wrapped in unshakable certitude.

    “It was,” said Sharbat Gula, “the will of God.”

  8. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    Afghan Girl

    Afghan Girl is an award-winning photograph by journalist Steve McCurry. The photograph has been likened to Leonardo da Vinci's painting of the Mona Lisa[1][2] and has been called "the First World's Third World Mona Lisa".[3]

    The subject of the photograph was called "the Afghan Girl" by the public until she was formally identified in early 2002 as Sharbat Gula (Pashto: شربت ګله‎) (pronounced [ˈʃaɾbat]) (born ca. 1972), an Afghan woman who was living as a refugee in Pakistan during the time of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan when she was photographed. The image brought her recognition when it was featured on the cover of the June 1985 issue of National Geographic Magazine at a time when she was approximately 12 years old.


    Afghan Girl is an award-winning photograph by journalist Steve McCurry. The photograph has been likened to Leonardo da Vinci's painting of the Mona Lisa[1][2] and has been called "the First World's Third World Mona Lisa".[3]

    The subject of the photograph was called "the Afghan Girl" by the public until she was formally identified in early 2002 as Sharbat Gula (Pashto: شربت ګله‎) (pronounced [ˈʃaɾbat]) (born ca. 1972), an Afghan woman who was living as a refugee in Pakistan during the time of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan when she was photographed. The image brought her recognition when it was featured on the cover of the June 1985 issue of National Geographic Magazine at a time when she was approximately 12 years old.

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    The June 1985 National geographic issue, as it was published

    1985 National Geographic cover

    At the Nasir Bagh refugee camp in 1984, Gula's photograph was taken by National Geographic Society photographer Steve McCurry on Kodachrome color slide film, with a Nikon FM2 camera and Nikkor 105mm F2.5 lens.[4] The pre-print photo retouching was done by Graphic Art Service, based in Marietta, Georgia. Gula was one of the students in an informal school within the refugee camp; McCurry seized a rare opportunity to photograph Afghan women and captured her image.

    Although her name was not known, her picture, titled Afghan Girl, appeared on the June 1985 cover of National Geographic. The image of her face, with a red scarf draped loosely over her head and her piercing sea-green colored eyes staring directly into the camera, became a symbol both of the 1980s Afghan conflict and of the refugee situation worldwide. The image was named "the most recognized photograph" in the history of the magazine, and the cover itself is one the most famous of the National Geographic.

    Search for the Afghan Girl

    The identity of the Afghan Girl remained unknown for over 17 years; Afghanistan remained largely closed to Western media until after the removal of the Taliban government by American troops and local allies in 2001. Although McCurry made several attempts during the 1990s to locate her, he was unsuccessful.

    In January 2002, a National Geographic team traveled to Afghanistan to locate the subject of the photograph that had remained in the public mind for so long. McCurry, upon learning that the Nasir Bagh refugee camp was soon to close, inquired of its remaining residents, one of whom knew Gula's brother and was able to send word to her hometown. However, there were a number of women who came forward and identified themselves erroneously as the famous Afghan Girl. In addition, after being shown the 1984 photo, a handful of young men erroneously identified Gula as their wife.

    The team finally located Gula, then around the age of 30, in a remote region of Afghanistan; she had returned to her native country from the refugee camp in 1992. Her identity was confirmed by John Daugman using iris recognition.[6] She vividly recalled being photographed. She had been photographed on only three occasions: in 1984 and during the search for her when a National Geographic producer took the identifying pictures that led to the reunion with Steve McCurry. She had never seen her famous portrait before it was shown to her in January 2002.

    The Afghan Girl herself

    Early life

    Pashtun by ethnicity, Gula's parents were killed during the Soviet Union's bombing of Afghanistan when she was around six years old. Along with her grandmother, brother, and three other sisters, she walked across the mountains to Pakistan and ended up in the Nasir Bagh refugee camp in Pakistan in 1984.[7]

    She married her husband, Rahmat Gul, between the age of 13-16, and returned to her village in Afghanistan in the mid 1990s. Gula has three daughters. A fourth daughter died in infancy. She expressed hopes that her children will be able to get an education. A devout Muslim, Gula normally would wear a burka and was hesitant to meet with McCurry, as he was a male from outside the family. When asked if she had ever felt safe, she responded "No. But life under the Taliban was better. At least there was peace and order." Until the National Geographic team found her again, she had never seen the photo of herself as a child. When asked how she had survived, she responded that it was "the will of God".[7] Steve McCurry and Sharbat Gula keep in touch every month.


    More recent pictures of Gula were featured as part of a cover story on her life in the April 2002 issue of National Geographic and she was the subject of a television documentary, entitled Search for the Afghan Girl, which aired in March 2002. In recognition of her,[9] National Geographic set up the Afghan Girls Fund, a charitable organization with the goal of educating Afghan girls and young women.[10] In 2008, the scope of the fund was broadened to include boys and the name was changed to Afghan Children's Fund.

    After finding Gula, National Geographic also covered the costs of medical treatment for her family, and paid for the costs of a pilgrimage to Mecca.

    In 2010, the South African photographer Jodi Bieber won the World Press Photo of the Year award for her photograph of Bibi Aisha, an Afghan victim of facial mutilation. In making the photograph, Bibi claimed inspiration from Afghan Girl. "For me, it was putting a moment of history in perspective. It was just one thing that added to the image", she said.
  9. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    Steve McCurry Reveals Iconic ‘Afghan Girl’ Portrait Was Almost Passed Over by Editor

    It might be hard to believe in retrospect, but it turns out that Steve McCurry‘s most famous photograph, the iconic ‘Afghan Girl,’ was almost passed over for the cover of National Geographic in 1985.

    McCurry revealed this and other tidbits about the photograph when he sat down with the TODAY show recently. He chose now to “tell-all,” so to speak, because he has just released a new book Untold: The Stories Behind the Photographs in which he reveals behind-the-scenes details about all of his amazing photographs.

    But back to the Afghan Girl: according to McCurry, the photo editor at National Geographic at the time chose to cut the iconic photo in favor of one of the other shots McCurry got of refugee Sharbat Gula in which she was covering her face:

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    When you compare the two, you can see that both have merit, but the magazine editor ultimately vetoed the photo editor’s call at the last minute, choosing to run the photo we all know instead. “We came within an inch of [the photo] being on the cutting room floor,” explains McCurry. “Instead,” fills in TODAY’s Jamie Gangel, “it became one of the most famous photos in history.”
  10. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    I seriously doubt that these 2 photographs are of the same person.
    Too many changes over 18 years.
    The eyes are a different color and different distance apart.
    The brow ridges are different being more pronounced in the younger woman.
    The cheekbones are higher in the older woman.
    the nose has a different shape

  11. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    I seriously doubt a NatGeo photographer would fake this or fool himself. The eyes are definitely the same color & they seem to me the same distance apart considering the different photo angles. Eyebrows are the same. The mouth is exactly the same. The cheekbones are not higher, they are a bit more pronounced. I've seen people change much more than this in less time, specially when the 1st example is from such a young age. If I showed you a picture of me at 30, I bet you could not pick my pic out of a line up of eight pics of 12 yo children. Or vice versa.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2014
  12. CHRIS.Q Registered Senior Member

    Ohhhh, jsssp
  13. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    Galveston Hurricane 1900

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    This killer weather system was first detected over the tropical Atlantic on August 27. While the history of the track and intensity is not fully known, the system reached Cuba as a tropical storm on September 3 and moved into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico on the 5th. A general west-northwestward motion occurred over the Gulf accompanied by rapid intensification. By the time the storm reached the Texas coast south of Galveston late on September 8, it was a Category 4 hurricane. After landfall, the cyclone turned northward through the Great Plains. It became extratropical and turned east-northeastward on September 11, passing across the Great Lakes, New England, and southeastern Canada. It was last spotted over the north Atlantic on September 15.

    This hurricane was the deadliest weather disaster in United States history. Storm tides of 8 to 15 ft inundated the whole of Galveston Island, as well as other portions of the nearby Texas coast. These tides were largely responsible for the 8,000 deaths (estimates range from 6,000 to 12,000) attributed to the storm. The damage to property was estimated at $30 million...

    Atlantic-Gulf Hurricane 1919

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    This fearsome cyclone was first detected near the Lesser Antilles on September 2. It moved generally west-northwestward for several days, passing near the Dominican Republic on September 4 and into the southeastern Bahamas on the 5th and 6th. At that time it became a hurricane. A westward turn on September 7 took the center across the central Bahamas on the 7th and 8th and into the Straits of Florida on the 9th. The now large hurricane was of Category 4 intensity as the eye passed just south of Key West, Florida and the Dry Tortugas on September 10. A continued west to west-northwestward motion brought the center to the Texas coast south of Corpus Christi as a Category 3 hurricane on September 14. The cyclone dissipated over northern Mexico and southern Texas the next day.

    Although hurricane-force winds occurred over the Florida Keys and the central and south Texas coast, no reliable wind measurements are available from near the center. A storm surge of up to 12 ft inundated Corpus Christi, Texas causing major damage to the coastal areas. A ship moored near the Dry Tortugas measured a pressure of 27.37 inches as the center passed, and based on this, the storm is ranked as the third most intense to hit the United States.

    The death toll was estimated at 600 to 900 people. Of these, more than 500 were lost on ten ships that either sunk or were reported missing. Damage in the United States was estimated at $22 million.

    Great Miami Hurricane 1926

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    The "Great Miami" Hurricane was first spotted as a tropical wave located 1,000 miles east of the Lesser Antilles on September 11th. The system moved quickly westward and intensified to hurricane strength as it moved to the north of Puerto Rico on the 15th. Winds were reported to be nearly 150 mph as the hurricane passed over the Turks Islands on the 16th and through the Bahamas on the 17th. Little in the way of meteorological information on the approaching hurricane was available to the Weather Bureau in Miami. As a result, hurricane warnings were not issued until midnight on September 18th, which gave the booming population of South Florida little notice of the impending disaster.

    The Category 4 hurricane's eye moved directly over Miami Beach and downtown Miami during the morning hours of the 18th. This cyclone produced the highest sustained winds ever recorded in the United States at the time, and the barometric pressure fell to 27.61 inches as the eye passed over Miami. A storm surge of nearly 15 feet was reported in Coconut Grove. Many casualties resulted as people ventured outdoors during the half-hour lull in the storm as the eye passed overhead. Most residents, having not experienced a hurricane, believed that the storm had passed during the lull. They were suddenly trapped and exposed to the eastern half of the hurricane shortly thereafter. Every building in the downtown district of Miami was damaged or destroyed. The town of Moore Haven on the south side of Lake Okeechobee was completely flooded by lake surge from the hurricane. Hundreds of people in Moore Haven alone were killed by this surge, which left behind floodwaters in the town for weeks afterward.

    The hurricane continued northwestward across the Gulf of Mexico and approached Pensacola on September 20th. The storm nearly stalled to the south of Pensacola later that day and buffeted the central Gulf Coast with 24 hours of heavy rainfall, hurricane force winds, and storm surge. The hurricane weakened as it moved inland over Louisiana later on the 21st. Nearly every pier, warehouse, and vessel on Pensacola Bay was destroyed.
    The great hurricane of 1926 ended the economic boom in South Florida and would be a $90 billion disaster had it occurred in recent times. With a highly transient population across southeastern Florida during the 1920s, the death toll is uncertain since more than 800 people were missing in the aftermath of the cyclone. A Red Cross report lists 373 deaths and 6,381 injuries as a result of the hurricane.

    San Felipe-Okeechobee Hurricane 1928

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    This classic Cape Verde hurricane was first detected over the tropical Atlantic on September 10, although it likely formed several days earlier. It moved westward through the Leeward Islands on the 12th. It then turned west-northwestward, scoring a direct hit on Puerto Rico on the 13th (the feast of San Felipe) as a Category 4 hurricane. The hurricane continued west-northwestward through the Bahamas and made landfall near Palm Beach, Florida on September 16. It turned north-northeastward over the Florida Peninsula on the 17th, a motion which brought the remains of the storm to eastern North Carolina on the 19th. It then turned northward and merged with a non-tropical low over the eastern Great Lakes on September 20.

    No reliable wind readings are available from near the landfall area in Florida. However, Palm Beach reported a minimum pressure of 27.43 in, making this the fourth strongest hurricane of record to hit the United States. In Puerto Rico, San Juan reported 144 mph sustained winds, while Guayama reported a pressure of 27.65 inches. Additionally, a ship just south of St. Croix, United States Virgin Islands (USVI) reported a pressure of 27.50 inches, while Guadeloupe in the Leeward Islands reported a pressure of 27.76 inches.

    This hurricane caused heavy casualties and extensive destruction along its path from the Leeward Islands to Florida. The worst tragedy occurred at inland Lake Okeechobee in Florida, where the hurricane caused a lake surge of 6 to 9 ft that inundated the surrounding area. 1,836 people died in Florida, mainly due to the lake surge. An additional 312 people died in Puerto Rico, and 18 more were reported dead in the Bahamas. Damage to property was estimated at $50,000,000 in Puerto Rico and $25,000,000 in Florida.

    Florida Keys Labor Day Hurricane 1935

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    This system was first detected east of the central Bahamas on August 29. Moving westward, it passed near Andros Island on September 1, at which time it reached hurricane strength and turned west-northwestward. Phenomenal strengthening then occurred, and when the storm reached the middle Florida Keys on September 2, it was a Category 5 hurricane. After roaring through the Keys, the hurricane turned gradually northward almost parallel to the Florida west coast until it again made landfall near Cedar Key as a Category 2 hurricane on the 4th. A northeastward motion took the storm across the southeastern United States to the Atlantic coast near Norfolk, Virgina on September 6. It continued into the Atlantic, becoming extratropical on the 7th and last being detected on the 10th.

    No wind measurements are available from the core of this small, but vicious hurricane. A pressure of 26.35 inches measured at Long Key, Florida makes this the most intense hurricane of record to hit the United States and the third most intense hurricane of record in the Atlantic basin (surpassed only by the 26.05 inches in Hurricane Wilma in 2005 and 26.22 inches observed in Hurricane Gilbert in 1988).

    The combination of winds and tides were responsible for 408 deaths in the Florida Keys, primarily among World War I veterans working in the area. Damage in the United States was estimated at $6 million.

    New England Hurricane 1938

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    The "Long Island Express" was first detected over the tropical Atlantic on September 13, although it may have formed a few days earlier. Moving generally west-northwestward, it passed to the north of Puerto Rico on the 18th and 19th, likely as a category 5 hurricane. It turned northward on September 20 and by the morning of the 21st it was 100 to 150 miles east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. At that point, the hurricane accelerated to a forward motion of 60 to 70 mph, making landfall over Long Island and Connecticut that afternoon as a Category 3 hurricane. The storm became extratropical after landfall and dissipated over southeastern Canada on September 22.

    Blue Hill Observatory, Massachusetts measured sustained winds of 121 mph with gusts to 183 mph (likely influenced by terrain). A U.S. Coast Guard station on Long Island measured a minimum pressure of 27.94 in. Storm surges of 10 to 12 ft inundated portions of the coast from Long Island and Connecticut eastward to southeastern Massachusetts, with the most notable surges in Narragansett Bay and Buzzards Bay. Heavy rains before and during the hurricane produced river flooding, most notably along the Connecticut River.

    This hurricane struck with little warning and was responsible for 600 deaths and $308 million in damage in the United States.
  14. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    Great Atlantic Hurricane 1944

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    This large and powerful hurricane was first detected northeast of the Leeward Islands on September 9. It moved west-northwestward through the 12th, then turned northward on a track that brought the center near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina on the 14th. The cyclone accelerated north-northeastward, moving across eastern New England and into Canada by September 15. The storm became extratropical over Canada and finally merged with a larger low near Greenland on September 16. This hurricane was of Category 3 intensity at landfalls at Cape Hatteras, Long Island, and Point Judith, Rhode Island, and Category 2 as far north as the coast of Maine.

    Cape Henry, VA reported 134 mph sustained winds (measured 90 ft above the ground) with estimated gusts to 150 mph. Widespread hurricane-force winds were reported elsewhere along the storm track from North Carolina to Massachusetts with a maximum reported gust of 109 mph at Hartford, Connecticut. Rainfall totals of 6 to 11 inches accompanied the storm.

    While this hurricane caused 46 deaths and $100 million in damage in the United States, the worst effects occurred at sea where it wreaked havoc on World War II shipping. Five ships, including a U. S. Navy destroyer and minesweeper, two U. S. Coast Guard cutters, and a light vessel, sank due to the storm causing 344 deaths.

    Hurricanes Carol and Edna 1954

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    Carol formed near the central Bahama Islands on August 25, and moved slowly northward and north-northwestward. By August 30 it was a hurricane about 100-150 miles east of Charleston, South Carolina. It then accelerated north-northeastward, make landfall as a Category 3 hurricane over Long Island, New York and Connecticut on the 31st. The cyclone became extratropical later that day as it crossed the remainder of New England and southeastern Canada.

    Sustained winds of 80 to 100 mph were reported over much of eastern Connecticut, all of Rhode Island, and eastern Massachusetts. A peak gust of 130 mph was reported at Block Island, Rhode Island, while gusts of 100 to 125 mph occurred over much of the rest of the affected area. Storm surge flooding occurred along the New England coast from Long Island northward, with water depths of 8 to 10 ft reported in downtown Providence, Rhode Island. Carol was responsible for 60 deaths and $461 million in damage in the United States.

    No discussion of Carol is complete without mention of the remarkably similar Hurricane Edna. This storm first formed east of the Windward Islands on September 2. It moved northwestward, and by September 7 it was a hurricane very near where Carol had formed two weeks before. From this point, Edna followed a path just east of Carol's. It accelerated past Cape Hatteras, North Carolina on September 10 and made landfall over Cape Cod as a Category 3 hurricane the next day. Edna moved across Maine into eastern Canada later on the 11th as it became extratropical.

    Martha's Vinyard, Massachusetts reported a peak wind gust of 120 mph during Edna, and much of the rest of the affected area had gusts of 80 to 100 mph. The storm was responsible for 20 deaths and $40 million in damage in the United States.

    Hurricane Hazel 1954

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    Hazel was first spotted east of the Windward Islands on October 5. It moved through the islands later that day as a hurricane, then it moved westward over the southern Caribbean Sea through October 8. A slow turn to the north-northeast occurred from October 9-12, with Hazel crossing western Haiti as a hurricane on the 12th. The hurricane turned northward and crossed the southeastern Bahamas on the 13th, followed by a northwestward turn on the 14th. Hazel turned north and accelerated on October 15, making landfall as a Category 4 hurricane near the North Carolina-South Carolina border. Subsequent rapid motion over the next 12 hours took the storm from the coast across the eastern United States into southeastern Canada as it became extratropical.

    High winds occurred over large portions of the eastern United States. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina reported a peak wind gust of 106 mph, and winds were estimated at 130 to 150 mph along the coast between Myrtle Beach and Cape Fear, North Carolina. Washington, DC reported 78 mph sustained winds, and peak gusts of over 90 mph occurred as far northward as inland New York state. A storm surge of up to 18 ft inundated portions of the North Carolina coast. Heavy rains of up to 11 inches occurred as far northward as Toronto, Canada resulting in severe flooding.

    Hazel was responsible for 95 deaths and $281 million in damage in the United States, 100 deaths and $100 million in damage in Canada, and an estimated 400 to 1000 deaths in Haiti.

    Hurricanes Connie and Diane 1955

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    These two hurricanes must be mentioned together. They struck the North Carolina coast only five days apart, and the rains from Connie set the stage for the devastating floods caused by Diane.

    Connie was first detected as a tropical storm over the tropical Atlantic on August 3. It moved just north of west for several days, reaching hurricane strength several hundred miles northeast of the Leeward Islands on the 5th. After passing north of the Leewards on the 6th, Connie turned northwestward - a motion that continued until the 10th. An erratic, generally north-northwestward motion then brought Connie to the North Carolina coast on August 12 as a Category 3 hurricane. This was followed by a gradual northwestward turn through August 14, when Connie dissipated over the eastern Great Lakes.

    Fort Macon, North Carolina reported 75 mph sustained winds with gusts to 100 mph, while a storm surge of up to 8 ft occurred along the coast. There were no reported deaths and the damage in the United States was $40 million. However, the most significant aspect of Connie was the rainfall of up to 12 inches that affected the northeastern United States.

    Diane was first detected over the tropical Atlantic on August 7. Moving generally west-northwestward, the cyclone became a tropical storm on the 9th. Diane became a hurricane on August 11, by which time it was moving northwestward. A northward turn occurred on the 12th, followed by a westward turn on the 13th and a west-northwestward motion on the 14th. This motion brought Diane to the North Carolina coast on August 17 as a Category 1 hurricane. The storm turned northward across Virginia, then it turned northeastward and moved back into the Atlantic near Long Island, New York on August 19. Diane became extratropical over the North Atlantic on the 21st.

    Hurricane conditions affected only a small part of the North Carolina coast, and the damage from winds and tides was relatively minor. The main impact was heavy rains. Diane poured 10 to 20 inches of rain on areas soaked by Connie just a few days before, producing widespread severe flooding from North Carolina to Massachusetts. The floods were responsible were 184 deaths and $832 million in damage.
  15. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    Hurricane Audrey 1957

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    Audrey was first detected over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico on June 24. It moved slowly northward as it became a tropical storm and a hurricane the next day. A faster northward motion brought the center to the coast near the Texas-Louisiana border on the 27th. Rapid strengthening in the last six hours before landfall meant Audrey made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane. The cyclone turned northeastward after landfall, becoming extratropical over northern Mississippi on June 28 and merging with another low over the Great Lakes the next day. The combined system was responsible for strong winds and heavy rains over portions of the eastern United States and Canada.

    No reliable wind or pressure measurements are available from Audrey's core at landfall. The main impact was from 8 to 12 ft storm surges that penetrated as far inland as 25 miles over portions of low-lying southwestern Louisiana. These surges were responsible for the vast majority of the 390 deaths from Audrey. Damage in the United States was estimated at $150 million.

    Hurricane Donna 1960

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    One of the all-time great hurricanes, Donna was first detected as a tropical wave moving off the African coast on August 29. It became a tropical storm over the tropical Atlantic the next day and a hurricane on September 1. Donna followed a general west-northwestward track for the following five days, passing over the northern Leeward Islands on the 4th and 5th as a Category 4 hurricane and then to the north of Puerto Rico later on the 5th. Donna turned westward on September 7 and passed through the southeastern Bahamas. A northwestward turn on the 9th brought the hurricane to the middle Florida Keys the next day at Category 4 intensity. Donna then curved northeastward, crossing the Florida Peninsula on September 11, followed by eastern North Carolina (Category 3) on the 12th, and the New England states (Category 3 on Long Island and Categories 1 to 2 elsewhere) on the 12th and 13th. The storm became extratropical over eastern Canada on the 13th.

    Donna is the only hurricane of record to produce hurricane-force winds in Florida, the Mid-Atlantic states, and New England. Sombrero Key, Florida reported 128 mph sustained winds with gusts to 150 mph. In the Mid-Atlantic states, Elizabeth City, North Carolina reported 83 mph sustained winds, while Manteo, North Carolina reported a 120 mph gust. In New England, Block Island, Rhode Island reported 95 mph sustained winds with gusts to 130 mph.

    Donna caused storm surges of up to 13 ft in the Florida Keys and 11 ft surges along the southwest coast of Florida. Four to eight ft surges were reported along portions of the North Carolina coast, with 5 to 10 ft surges along portions of the New England coast. Heavy rainfalls of 10 to 15 inches occurred in Puerto Rico, 6 to 12 inches in Florida, and 4 to 8 inches elsewhere along the path of the hurricane.

    The landfall pressure of 27.46 inches makes Donna the fifth strongest hurricane of record to hit the United States. It was responsible for 50 deaths in the United States. One hundred and fourteen deaths were reported from the Leeward Islands to the Bahamas, including 107 in Puerto Rico caused by flooding from the heavy rains. The hurricane caused $387 million in damage in the United States and $13 million elsewhere along its path.

    Hurricane Camille 1969

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    This powerful, deadly, and destructive hurricane formed just west of the Cayman Islands on August 14. It rapidly intensified and by the time it reached western Cuba the next day it was a Category 3 hurricane. Camille tracked north-northwestward across the Gulf of Mexico and became a Category 5 hurricane on August 16. The hurricane maintained this intensity until it made landfall along the Mississippi coast late on the 17th. Camille weakened to a tropical depression as it crossed Mississippi into western Tennessee and Kentucky, then it turned eastward across West Virginia and Virginia. The cyclone moved into the Atlantic on August 20 and regained tropical storm strength before becoming extratropical on the 22nd.

    A minimum pressure of 26.84 inches was reported in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, which makes Camille the second most intense hurricane of record to hit the United States. The actual maximum sustained winds will never be known, as the hurricane destroyed all the wind-recording instruments in the landfall area. The estimates at the coast are near 200 mph. Columbia, Mississippi, located 75 miles inland, reported 120 mph sustained winds. A storm tide of 24.6 ft occurred at Pass Christian, Mississippi. The heaviest rains along the Gulf Coast were about 10 inches. However, as Camille passed over the Virginias, it produced a burst of 12 to 20 inch rains with local totals of up to 31 inches. Most of this rain occurred in 3 to 5 hours and caused catastrophic flash flooding.

    The combination of winds, surges, and rainfalls caused 256 deaths (143 on the Gulf Coast and 113 in the Virginia floods) and $1.421 billion in damage. Three deaths were reported in Cuba.

    Hurricane Agnes 1972

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    The large disturbance that became Agnes was first detected over the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico on June 14. The system drifted eastward and became a tropical depression later that day and a tropical storm over the northwestern Caribbean on the 16th. Agnes turned northward on June 17 and became a hurricane over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico the next day. A continued northward motion brought Agnes to the Florida Panhandle coast on June 19 as a Category 1 hurricane. Agnes turned northeastward after landfall and weakened to a depression over Georgia. However, it regained tropical storm strength over eastern North Carolina on June 21 and moved into the Atlantic later that day. A northwestward turn followed, and a just-under-hurricane-strength Agnes made a final landfall on the 22nd near New York, New York. The storm merged with a non-tropical low on June 23rd, with the combined system affecting the northeastern United States until the 25th.

    Agnes was barely a hurricane at landfall in Florida, and the effects of winds and storm surges were relatively minor. The major impact was over the northeastern United States, where Agnes combined with the non-tropical low to produce widespread rains of 6 to 12 inches with local amounts of 14 to 19 inches. These rains produced widespread severe flooding from Virginia northward to New York, with other flooding occurring over the western portions of the Carolinas.

    Agnes caused 122 deaths in the United States. Nine of these were in Florida (mainly from severe thunderstorms) while the remainder were associated with the flooding. The storm was responsible for $2.1 billion in damage in the United States, the vast majority of which came from the flooding. Agnes also affected western Cuba, where seven additional deaths occurred.

    Tropical Storm Claudette 1979

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    Claudette was first detected as a tropical wave that moved off the African coast on July 11. The wave spawned a tropical depression on July 16 that briefly became a tropical storm the next day as it approached the Leeward and Virgin Islands. Claudette weakened to a tropical depression and then a tropical wave while passing near Puerto Rico on the 18th, and little re-development occurred until the system moved into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico on the 21st. Claudette regained tropical storm strength over the western Gulf on July 23 and made landfall the next day near the Louisiana-Texas border. It made a slow loop over southeastern Texas on the 24th and 25th, followed by a northward motion into Oklahoma on the 27th. The remnants of Claudette turned eastward and merged with a frontal system over West Virginia on July 29.

    Claudette produced tropical storm conditions along portions of the Texas and Louisiana coasts, but the storm will be most remembered for its rainfall. Widespread amounts in excess of 10 inches occurred over portions of southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana, with several local amounts in excess of 30 inches. An observer west of Alvin, Texas reported 43 inches in 24 hours, which is a United States record for 24 hour rainfall amount. The storm total at that location was 45 inches. The rains produced severe flooding that was responsible for one death and $400 million in damage. The storm also produced heavy rains over portions of Puerto Rico that were responsible for one death.

    Hurricane Alicia 1983

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    Alicia formed over the north central Gulf of Mexico on August 15. It drifted slowly westward and northwestward while steadily strengthening on the 16th and 17th. This motion brought Alicia over the western end of Galveston Island, Texas as a Category 3 hurricane on August 18. Alicia moved northwestward into Oklahoma as a tropical depression on August 19, then turned northward before dissipating over Nebraska on the 21st.

    The Coast Guard cutter Buttonwood moored at Galveston reported sustained winds of 96 mph with gusts to 125 mph. Hobby Airport at Houston, Texas reported 94 mph sustained winds with gusts to 107 mph. Wind gusts of hurricane force in downtown Houston littered the streets with broken glass as windows broke in the high-rise buildings. Additionally, twenty-three tornadoes were reported from Alicia.
  16. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    Hurricane Gilbert 1988

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    A tropical wave exiting the African coastline on September 3rd developed into the 12th tropical depression of the season on September 8th while approaching the Windward Islands. The cyclone rapidly strengthened to hurricane status on September 10th as a west-northwest motion brought Gilbert into the eastern Caribbean Sea. Gilbert passed directly over Jamaica on September 12th as a major hurricane, becoming the first direct impact for the island from a hurricane since 1951. Winds gusted to nearly 150 mph as Gilbert produced a 9-foot storm surge along Jamaica’s northeast coast. Jamaica was devastated as the eyewall traversed the entire length of the island. During this period the eye contracted from 25 nmi to only 12 nmi upon exiting Jamaica.

    Gilbert emerged off the western coastline of Jamaica and began a period of extraordinarily rapid intensification. The ferocious hurricane strengthened to Category 4 status as its northern eyewall pounded Grand Cayman Island with 155 mph wind gusts early on September 13th. Gilbert’s remarkable intensification trend continued as the cyclone reached Category 5 status on the afternoon of the 13th and eventually reached peak winds of 185 mph. The minimum central pressure of the cyclone plummeted to 888 millibars, which represented a 70-millibar drop in only a 24-hour period. This minimum central pressure recorded by NOAA aircraft remains the lowest pressure ever recorded in the western hemisphere. Gilbert crossed the northeast coast of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula on September 14th, becoming the first Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic basin to strike land since Camille in 1969.

    Gilbert weakened over the Yucatan peninsula and emerged into the western Gulf of Mexico as a Category 2 hurricane. Gilbert’s large circulation regained major hurricane status as the cyclone continued on a west-northwest course on the 16th. The hurricane made its final landfall near the town of La Pesca on the Mexican Gulf Coast on the evening of September 16th as a strong Category 3 hurricane. Gilbert’s remnants spawned 29 tornadoes over Texas on September 18th, with flooding spreading to the Midwest as the remnants merged with a frontal boundary over Missouri on September 19th. Although no reliable measurements of storm surge exist from Gilbert’s two Mexican landfalls, estimates are that Gilbert produced between 15 and 20 feet of surge along the Yucatan and 8 to 13 feet at landfall in mainland Mexico.

    Gilbert’s large size and impacts were felt over much of the Caribbean, Central America as well as portions of the United States. The death toll of 318 gives an idea of the scope of Gilbert's impacts: Mexico 202, Jamaica 45, Haiti 30, Guatemala 12, Honduras 12, Dominican Republic 5, Venezuela 5, United States 3, Costa Rica 2, and Nicaragua 2. The deaths from Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Venezuela were caused by inland flash flooding from outer rainbands.

    Hurricane Hugo 1989

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    This classic Cape Verde hurricane was first detected as a tropical wave emerging from the coast of Africa on September 9. Moving steadily westward, the system became a tropical depression the next day, a tropical storm on the 11th, and a hurricane on the 13th. Hugo turned west-northwest on September 15 as it became a Category 5 hurricane. It was still a Category 4 hurricane when the center moved through the Leeward Islands and St. Croix, USVI, and the 18th. Turning northwestward, the center passed across the eastern end of Puerto Rico on September 19. This general motion would continue with some acceleration until Hugo made landfall just north of Charleston, South Carolina on 22 September. Strengthening in the last twelve hours before landfall made Hugo a Category 4 hurricane at the coast. After landfall, the storm gradually recurved northeastward, becoming extratropical over southeastern Canada on September 23.

    The Naval Air Station at Roosevelt Roads, PR reported sustained winds of 104 mph with gusts to 120 mph, which were the highest winds reported from the Caribbean. A ship moored in the Sampit River in South Carolina measured sustained winds of 120 mph. High winds associated with Hugo extended far inland, with Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina reporting 67 mph sustained winds with gusts to 110 mph and Charlotte, North Carolina reporting 69 mph sustained winds and gusts to 99 mph.

    Storm surge from Hugo inundated the South Carolina Coast from Charleston to Myrtle Beach, with maximum storm tides of 20 ft observed in the Cape Romain-Bulls Bay area.

    Hugo was responsible for 21 deaths in the mainland United States, five more in Puerto Rico and the U. S. Virgin Islands, and 24 more elsewhere in the Caribbean. Damage estimates are $7 billion in the mainland United States and $1 billion in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

    Hurricane Andrew 1992

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    One of the most destructive United States hurricanes of record started modestly as a tropical wave that emerged from the west coast of Africa on August 14. The wave spawned a tropical depression on August 16, which became Tropical Storm Andrew the next day. Further development was slow, as the west-northwestward moving Andrew encountered an unfavorable upper-level trough. Indeed, the storm almost dissipated on August 20 due to vertical wind shear. By August 21, Andrew was midway between Bermuda and Puerto Rico and turning westward into a more favorable environment. Rapid strengthening occurred, with Andrew reaching hurricane strength on the 22nd and Category 4 status on the 23rd. After briefly weakening over the Bahamas, Andrew regained Category 4 status as it blasted its way across south Florida on August 24. The hurricane continued westward into the Gulf of Mexico where it gradually turned northward. This motion brought Andrew to the central Louisiana coast on August 26 as a Category 3 hurricane. Andrew then turned northeastward, eventually merging with a frontal system over the Mid-Atlantic states on August 28.

    Reports from private barometers helped establish that Andrew's central pressure at landfall in Homestead, Florida was 27.23 inches, which makes it the third most intense hurricane of record to hit the United States. Andrew's peak winds in south Florida were not directly measured due to destruction of the measuring instruments. An automated station at Fowey Rocks reported 142 mph sustained winds with gusts to 169 mph (measured 144 ft above the ground), and higher values may have occurred after the station was damaged and stopped reporting. The National Hurricane Center had a peak gust of 164 mph (measured 130 ft above the ground), while a 177 mph gust was measured at a private home. Additionally, Berwick, LA reported 96 mph sustained winds with gusts to 120 mph.

    Andrew produced a 17 ft storm surge near the landfall point in Florida, while storm tides of at least 8 ft inundated portions of the Louisiana coast. Andrew also produced a killer tornado in southeastern Louisiana.

    Andrew is responsible for 23 deaths in the United States and three more in the Bahamas. The hurricane caused $26.5 billion in damage in the United States, of which $1 billion occurred in Louisiana and the rest in south Florida. The vast majority of the damage in Florida was due to the winds. Damage in the Bahamas was estimated at $250 million.

    Tropical Storm Alberto 1994

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    Alberto was first detected as a tropical wave that moved off the African coast on 18 June. The wave moved into the western Caribbean by late June and formed into a tropical depression near the western tip of Cuba on June 30. The cyclone moved northwest through July 1 as it became a tropical storm, then it turned northward. This motion continued until the cyclone made landfall in the western Florida Panhandle on the 4th. Alberto then moved north-northeastward into western Georgia, where it did a loop on the 5th and 6th. The cyclone finally dissipated over central Alabama on July 7.

    Alberto's winds and tides produced only minor damage at the coast, but the excessive rains that fell in Georgia, Alabama, and western Florida were another story. Amounts exceeded 10 inches in many locations, with the maximum being the 27.61 inch storm total at Americus, GA (including 21 inches in 24 hours). Severe flooding resulted over large portions of southern Georgia, western Alabama, and the western Florida Panhandle. The floods were responsible for 30 deaths and $500 million in damage.

    Hurricane Opal 1995

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    Opal was first detected as a tropical wave moving off the African coast on September 11. The waved moved westward through the Atlantic and Caribbean and merged with a broad low pressure area over the western Caribbean on September 23. The combined system then developed into a tropical depression near the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula on September 27. The depression drifted slowly northward, becoming Tropical Storm Opal as it reached the north coast of Yucatan on the 30th. Opal then moved slowly westward into the Bay of Campeche, where it became a hurricane on October 2. A gradual north-northeastward turn started later on the 2nd, with acceleration on the 3rd and 4th. Opal continued to strengthen, and a period of rapid strengthening late of the 3rd and early on the 4th made it a Category 4 hurricane. Weakening followed, and Opal was a Category 3 hurricane when it made landfall near Pensacola Beach, Florida late on the 4th. Opal continued quickly north-northeastward and became extratropical over the Ohio Valley on the 5th. The cyclone was last seen over the eastern Great Lakes on October 6.

    Hurlbert Field, Florida reported sustained winds of 84 mph with a peak gust of 144 mph, and gusts to 70 mph occurred as far inland as northwest Georgia. However, the main impact from Opal was from storm surge. A combination of storm surge and breaking waves inundated portions of the western Florida Panhandle coast to a depth of 10 to 20 ft. The surge was responsible for the bulk of the $3 billion in damage attributed to Opal in the United States.

    Opal was responsible for 9 deaths in the United States, including 8 from falling trees and one from a tornado. Opal was responsible for 50 deaths in Mexico and Guatemala due to flooding caused by heavy rains.

    Hurricane Mitch 1998

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    This powerful hurricane began developing over the southwestern Caribbean Sea on 22 October. It drifted westward and became a tropical storm later that day, then turned northward and became a hurricane by the 24th. Mitch then turned westward again and rapidly strengthened, becoming a Category 5 hurricane with a central pressure of 905 mb on the 26th. After passing over Swan Island on the 27th, a weakening Mitch moved slowly southward near the coastal Islands of Honduras. It made landfall over northern Honduras on the 29th as a Category 1 hurricane. Mitch gradually turned westward after landfall, and the surface center dissipated neat the Guatemala-Honduras border on 1 November.

    The remnant circulation aloft reached the Bay of Campeche on 2 November and began developing again. The re-born Mitch became a tropical storm on 3 November, then moved northeastward across the Yucatan Peninsula on the 4th. Mitch crossed south Florida as a tropical storm on the 5th and then became extratropical later that day. The extratropical cyclone remained strong as it crossed the Atlantic, eventually affecting the British Isles and Iceland on the 9th and 10th.

    Mitch ravaged the offshore islands of Honduras with high winds, seas, and storm surge. However the greatest impact was widespread heavy rains and severe floods in Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Mitch caused an estimated 9,000 deaths in Central America with another 9,000 missing. Thirty-one people died when the schooner Fantome sank as it encountered the high winds and seas associated with the hurricane. Two people died in the Florida Keys when a fishing boat capsized. Mitch caused tremendous property, infrastructure, and crop damage in Central America, and an additional $40 million in damage in Florida.
  17. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    Hurricane Floyd 1999

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    Floyd was first detected as a tropical wave that moved off the African coast on September 2. The system developed into a tropical depression over the tropical Atlantic on September 7. Moving steadily west-northwestward, the system became a tropical storm the next day and a hurricane on the 10th. A northwestward turn late on the 10th was followed by a westward turn on the 12th, with the second turn marking the time Floyd started strengthening in earnest. It became a Category 4 hurricane on September 13 as it approached the central Bahama Islands. A west-northwestward turn late on the 13th took the center through the northeastern Bahamas. This was followed by a gradual turn to the north-northeast, which brought the center to the North Carolina coast near Cape Fear on September 16 as a Category 2 hurricane. Floyd continued north-northeastward along the coast of the Mid-Atlantic into New England, where the storm became extratropical on the 17th. The remnants of Floyd merged with a large non-tropical low on September 19.

    While wind gusts of 120 mph and storm surges of 9 to 10 ft were reported from the North Carolina coast, Floyd will be most remembered in the United States for its rainfall. The combination of Floyd and a frontal system over the eastern United States produced widespread rainfalls in excess of 10 inches from North Carolina northeastward, with amounts as high as 19.06 inches in Wilmington, North Carolina and 13.70 inches at Brewster, New York. These rains, aided by rains from Tropical Storm Dennis two weeks earlier, caused widespread severe flooding that caused the majority of the $3 to 6 billion in damage caused by Floyd. These floods also were responsible for 50 of the 56 deaths caused by Floyd in the United States. Floyd also caused damage in the Bahamas, with one death reported.

    Hurricane Keith 2000

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    Keith began developing on 28 September when a tropical depression formed over the northwestern Caribbean Sea. The cyclone moved slowly northwestward on the 29th as it became a tropical storm, then it rapidly intensified into a Category 4 hurricane on the 30th while drifting westward toward the coast of Belize. Keith stalled with the eyewall over the offshore islands of Belize on 1 October, and it wasn't until the 3rd that the center made landfall in Belize. Keith weakened during this time and was a tropical storm at landfall. It moved west-northwestward over the Yucatan Peninsula and further weakened to a depression on the 4th.

    Keith emerged in the Bay of Campeche late that day and quickly regained tropical storm strength. It again became a hurricane on the 5th before making landfall just north of Tampico, Mexico as a Category 1 hurricane. The cyclone dissipated over northeastern Mexico the next day.

    Keith was responsible for 24 deaths - 12 in Nicaragua, 5 in Belize, 6 in Honduras, and 1 in Mexico. The deaths in Belize occurred when two catamarans broke loose during the storm, while 5 of the deaths in Honduras occurred when an airplane disappeared near Roatan Island. Damage to property, agriculture, and tourism in Belize was estimated at $225 million.

    Tropical Storm Allison 2001

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    Allison's long and complex career began on 5 June as an area of disturbed weather over the northwestern Gulf of Mexico developed into a tropical storm. The storm made landfall near Freeport, Texas later that day. Allison weakened to a depression on the 6th, while drifting northward, then it made a slow loop over southeastern Texas from the 7th to the 9th. The cyclone moved into the Gulf of Mexico on the 10th and acquired subtropical characteristics. It then moved east-northeastward over southeastern Louisiana on the 11th, where it re-intensified into a subtropical storm. Allison weakened back to a subtropical depression on the 12th while continuing east-northeastward, and this motion carried it to southeastern North Carolina by the 14th where it again stalled. The cyclone drifted northward to northeastward drift over land on the 15th and 16th. This was followed by a faster northeastward motion on the 17th as the center emerged into the Atlantic. Allison regained subtropical storm strength later that day before becoming extratropical on the 18th southeast of Cape Cod. The system dissipated southeast of Nova Scotia the next day.

    Allison brought tropical-storm-force winds and above normal tides to portions of the Texas and Louisiana coasts. However, the greatest legacy of the cyclone was the widespread heavy rains and resulting floods along the entire path of the cyclone (figure). Houston, Texas, was the worst affected area, as the Port of Houston reported 36.99 inches and several other locations reported more than 30 inches (figure). The storm also spawned 23 tornadoes. Allison was responsible for 41 deaths and at least $5 billion in damage in the United States, making it the deadliest and costliest U. S. tropical storm of record.

    Hurricane Iris 2001

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    Iris first became a tropical depression just east of the lesser Antilles on 4 October. The depression tracked west-northwestward into the eastern Caribbean where it became a tropical storm on the 5th and a hurricane on the 6th. Iris then turned westward, passing just south of Jamaica on the 7th. The storm then moved quickly west-southwestward toward the coast of Belize as it became a small but powerful Category 4 hurricane on the 8th (figure). Iris made landfall over southern Belize early on the 9th at Category 4 intensity, then quickly weakened after landfall to dissipation later that day.

    The winds and storm surges of Iris caused severe damage over portions of the southern Belize coast. The storm was responsible for 31 deaths, including 20 in Belize, 8 in Guatemala, and 3 in the Dominican Republic. The deaths in Belize occurred when the M/V Wave Dancer capsized in port, killing 20 of the 28 people on board.

    Hurricane Isabel 2003

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    A well-organized but slow moving tropical wave that exited the African coastline on September 1st developed into Tropical Storm Isabel on the morning of September 6th. Isabel became a hurricane on September 7th and rapidly intensified to Category 4 hurricane strength on the evening of the 8th while the eye was located more than 1100 miles to the east of the Leeward Islands. This impressive hurricane reached Category 5 strength on September 11th, making Isabel the strongest hurricane in the Atlantic basin since Mitch in October 1998. The cyclone turned northwestward around the western periphery of the Atlantic ridge beginning on the 15th. Isabel began to weaken on the 15th as conditions aloft became more hostile, and it fell below major hurricane strength for the first time in eight days on the 16th.

    Although weakening, Isabel’s wind field continued to expand as hurricane warnings were issued for most of the North Carolina and Virginia coastline, including the Chesapeake Bay. Isabel’s large eye pushed ashore just after the noon hour on September 18th near Drum Inlet along North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Isabel was the worst hurricane to affect the Chesapeake Bay region since 1933. Storm surge values of more than 8 feet flooded rivers that flowed into the Bay across Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, D.C. Isabel brought tropical storm force gusts as far north as New York State as it moved inland. The most intense hurricane of the 2003 season directly resulted in 17 deaths and more than 3 billion dollars* in damages. The large wind field toppled trees and cut power to more than four million customers.

    Hurricane Charley 2004

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    Charley originated from a tropical wave, developing into a tropical depression on August 9 about 115 miles south-southeast of Barbados. The depression strengthened within a low-shear environment to a tropical storm early the next day in the eastern Caribbean, and became a hurricane on the 11th near Jamaica. Charley's center passed about 40 miles southwest of the southwest coast of Jamaica, and then passed about 15 miles northeast of Grand Cayman as the hurricane reached category 2 strength on the 12th. Charley turned to the north-northwest and continued to strengthen, making landfall in western Cuba as a category 3 hurricane with 120 m.p.h. maximum winds. Charley weakened just after its passage over western Cuba; its maximum winds decreased to about 110 m.p.h. by the time the center reached the Dry Tortugas around 8 am on the 13th.

    Charley then came under the influence of an unseasonably strong mid-tropospheric trough that had dropped from the east-central United States into the eastern Gulf of Mexico. The hurricane turned north-northeastward and accelerated toward the southwest coast of Florida as it began to intensify rapidly; dropsonde measurements indicate that Charley's central pressure fell from 964 mb to 941 mb in 4.5 hours. By 10 am, the maximum winds had increased to near 125 m.p.h., and three hours later had increased to 145 m.p.h. - category 4 strength. Charley made landfall with maximum winds near 150 m.p.h. on the southwest coast of Florida just north of Captiva Island around 3:45 pm. An hour later, Charley's eye passed over Punta Gorda. The hurricane then crossed central Florida, passing near Kissimmee and Orlando. Charley was still of hurricane intensity around midnight when its center cleared the northeast coast of Florida near Daytona Beach. After moving into the Atlantic, Charley came ashore again near Cape Romain, South Carolina near midday on the 14th as a category 1 hurricane. The center then moved just offshore before making a final landfall at North Myrtle Beach. Charley soon weakened to a tropical storm over southeastern North Carolina and became extratropical on the 15th as it moved back over water near Virginia Beach.

    Although ferocious, Charley was a very small hurricane at its Florida landfall, with its maximum winds and storm surge located only about 6-7 miles from the center. This helped minimize the extent and amplitude of the storm surge, which likely did not exceed 7 feet. However, the hurricane's violent winds devastated Punta Gorda and neighboring Port Charlotte. Rainfall amounts were generally modest, less than 8 inches. Charley also produced 16 tornadoes in Florida, North Carolina and Virginia. The total U. S. damage is estimated to be near $15 billion, making Charley the second costliest hurricane in U.S. history. Casualties were remarkably low, given the strength of the hurricane and the destruction that resulted. Charley was directly responsible for ten deaths in the United States. There were also four deaths in Cuba and one in Jamaica.
  18. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    Hurricane Frances 2004

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    Frances developed from a tropical wave, becoming a tropical depression on August 25 several hundred miles west-southwest of the southern Cape Verde Islands, a tropical storm later that day, and a hurricane the following day. Frances moved generally west-northwestward for the next several days, passing north of the Leeward Islands on the 31st and just north of the Turks and Caicos Islands on the 2nd . During this time, Frances' peak winds reached 145 m.p.h. (category 4) on two occasions while the hurricane underwent a series of concentric eyewall cycles. Westerly wind shear then caused Frances to weaken to a category 2 hurricane by the time it passed over the northwestern Bahamas on the 4th . Frances made landfall near Stuart, Florida just after midnight on the 5th with 105 m.p.h. (category 2) maximum winds. Frances gradually weakened as it moved slowly across the Florida Peninsula, and became a tropical storm just before emerging into the northeastern Gulf of Mexico early on September 6. Frances made a final landfall in the Florida Big Bend region that afternoon as a tropical storm. Frances weakened over the southeastern United States and became extratropical over West Virginia on the 9th .

    Frances produced a storm surge of nearly 6 feet at its Florida east coast landfall, and caused widespread heavy rains and associated freshwater flooding over much of the eastern United States, with a maximum reported rainfall of 18.07 inches at Linville Falls, North Carolina. Frances was also associated with an outbreak of over 100 tornadoes throughout the southeastern and mid-Atlantic states. Eight deaths resulted from the forces of the storm - seven in the United States and one in the Bahamas. U.S. damage is estimated to be near $8.9 billion, over 90% of which occurred in Florida.

    Hurricane Ivan 2004

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    Ivan developed from a large tropical wave that crossed the west coast of Africa on August 31, and spawned a tropical depression two days later. The depression reached storm strength on September 3rd (one of only a dozen on record to do so south of 10EN) and continued to strengthen. By the 5th , Ivan had become a hurricane about 1150 miles east of the southern Windward Islands. Eighteen hours later Ivan became the southernmost storm to reach major hurricane status, at 10.2EN. Ivan was a category 3 hurricane when the center passed about 7 miles south of Grenada, a path that took the northern eyewall of Ivan directly over the island. In the Caribbean, Ivan became a category 5 hurricane, with winds of 160 m.p.h., on the 9th when it was south of the Dominican Republic, and on two occasions the minimum pressure fell to 910 mb. The center of Ivan passed within about 20 miles of Jamaica on the 11th and a similar distance from Grand Cayman on the 12th , with Grand Cayman likely experiencing sustained winds of category 4 strength. Ivan then turned to the northwest and passed through the Yucatan channel on the 14th , bringing hurricane conditions to extreme western Cuba. Ivan moved across the east-central Gulf of Mexico, making landfall as a major hurricane with sustained winds of near 120 m.p.h. on the 16th just west of Gulf Shores, Alabama.

    Ivan weakened as it moved inland, producing over 100 tornadoes and heavy rains across much of the southeastern United States, before merging with a frontal system over the Delmarva Peninsula on the 18th. While this would normally be the end of the story, the extratropical remnant low of Ivan split off from the frontal system and drifted southward in the western Atlantic for several days, crossed southern Florida, and re-entered the Gulf of Mexico on the 21st. The low re-acquired tropical characteristics, becoming a tropical storm for the second time on the 22nd in the central Gulf. Ivan weakened before it made its final landfall in southwestern Louisiana as a tropical depression on the 24th.

    Ivan's storm surge completely over-washed the island of Grand Cayman, where an estimated 95% of the buildings were damaged or destroyed. Surge heights of 10-15 feet occurred along the Gulf coast during Ivan's first U.S. landfall. Peak rainfall amounts in the Caribbean and United States were generally 10-15 inches. The death toll from Ivan stands at 92 - 39 in Grenada, 25 in the United States, 17 in Jamaica, 4 in Dominican Republic, 3 in Venezuela, 2 in the Cayman Islands, and 1 each in Tobago and Barbados. U.S. damage is estimated to be near $14.2 billion, the third largest total on record.

    Hurricane Jeanne 2004

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    Jeanne formed from a tropical wave, becoming a tropical depression on September 13 near the Leeward Islands, and strengthening to a tropical storm the next day. Moving west-northwestward, Jeanne struck Puerto Rico on the 15th with 70 m.p.h. winds and then strengthened to a hurricane just before making landfall in the Dominican Republic. Jeanne spent nearly 36 hours over the rough terrain of Hispaniola, generating torrential rainfall before emerging into the Atlantic north of the island. Steering currents in the western Atlantic were weak, and Jeanne moved slowly through and north of the southeastern Bahamas over the next five days while it gradually regained the strength it had lost over Hispaniola. By the 23rd , high pressure had built in over the northeastern United States and western Atlantic, causing Jeanne to turn westward. Jeanne strengthened and became a major hurricane on the 25th while the center moved over Abaco and then Grand Bahama Island. Early on the 26th , the center of Jeanne's 60-mile-wide eye crossed the Florida coast near Stuart, at virtually the identical spot that Frances had come ashore three weeks earlier. Maximum winds at the time of landfall are estimated to be near 120 m.p.h.

    Jeanne weakened as it moved across central Florida, becoming a tropical storm during the afternoon of the 26th near Tampa, and then weakening to a depression a day later over central Georgia. The depression was still accompanied by heavy rain when it moved over the Carolinas, Virginia, and the Delmarva Peninsula on the 28th and 29th before becoming extratropical.

    Jeanne produced extreme rain accumulations in Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, with nearly 24 inches reported in Vieques. Rains from the cyclone resulted in historic floods in Puerto Rico, and deadly flash-floods and mudslides in Haiti, where over 3000 people lost their lives and roughly 200,000 were left homeless. Three deaths occurred in Florida, and one each in Puerto Rico, South Carolina, and Virginia. In the United States, damage is estimated to be near $6.9 billion.

    Hurricane Dennis 2005

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    Dennis formed from a tropical wave that moved westward across the coast of Africa on June 29. A tropical depression developed from the wave on July 4 near the southern Windward Islands. The cyclone moved west-northwestward across the eastern and central Caribbean sea, became a tropical storm on July 5, and strengthened into a hurricane early on July 6 about 245 miles east-southeast of Jamaica. Dennis intensified over the next two days, becoming a major hurricane on July 7 and a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 150 mph the next day just south of central Cuba. Dennis passed over Cabo Cruz, Cuba early on July 8 with winds of 135 mph, and then made landfall along the south-central coast of Cuba that afternoon near Cienfuegos with winds of 145 mph. After landfall, Dennis passed near Havana and weakened to a Category 1 hurricane before emerging over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico early on July 9. Although Dennis re-intensified into a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 145 mph early on July 10 over the eastern Gulf of Mexico, it weakened to Category 3 strength before making landfall over the western Florida Panhandle near Navarre Beach late that day. Dennis degenerated to a low pressure area over the Tennessee and Ohio Valleys, and it was eventually absorbed by an extratropical low over southeastern Canada on July 18.

    Dennis brought hurricane conditions to many portions of Cuba. Cabo Cruz reported sustained winds of 133 mph with a gust to 148 mph at 0200 UTC July 8, with a minimum pressure of 956 mb at 0240 UTC just before the eye passed over the station. The anemometer was destroyed, and it is possible more extreme winds occurred. Dennis also caused hurricane conditions in the western Florida Panhandle. An instrumented tower run by the Florida Coastal Monitoring Program (FCMP) at Navarre measured 1-min average winds (5-m elevation) of 99 mph and a gust to 121 mph at 1921 UTC July 10.

    Storm-total rainfalls in excess of 23 inches occurred on both Cuba and Jamaica. Heavy rainfall also occurred over much of Florida and extended well inland over portions of the southeastern United States with the maximum amount of 12.80 inches near Camden, Alabama. Ten tornadoes were reported in association with Dennis in the United States.

    Dennis caused 42 deaths - 22 in Haiti, 16 in Cuba, 3 in the United States, and 1 in Jamaica. The hurricane caused considerable damage across central and eastern Cuba as well as the western Florida Panhandle, including widespread utility and communications outages. Considerable storm surge-related damage also occurred near St. Marks, Florida, well to the east of the landfall location. The damage associated with Dennis in the United States is estimated at $2.23 billion. Damage in Jamaica is estimated at 1.9 billion Jamaican dollars* (approximately $31.7 million U. S.).
  19. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    Hurricane Katrina 2005

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    Katrina was one of the most devastating hurricanes in the history of the United States. It is the deadliest hurricane to strike the United States since the Palm Beach-Lake Okeechobee hurricane of September 1928. It produced catastrophic damage - estimated at $75 billion in the New Orleans area and along the Mississippi coast - and is the costliest U. S. hurricane on record.

    This horrific tropical cyclone formed from the combination of a tropical wave, an upper-level trough, and the mid-level remnants of Tropical Depression Ten. A tropical depression formed on August 23 about 200 miles southeast of Nassau in the Bahamas. Moving northwestward, it became Tropical Storm Katrina during the following day about 75 miles east-southeast of Nassau. The storm moved through the northwestern Bahamas on August 24-25, and then turned westward toward southern Florida. Katrina became a hurricane just before making landfall near the Miami-Dade/Broward county line during the evening of August 25. The hurricane moved southwestward across southern Florida into the eastern Gulf of Mexico on August 26. Katrina then strengthened significantly, reaching Category 5 intensity on August 28. Later that day, maximum sustained winds reached 175 mph with an aircraft-measured central pressure of 902 mb while centered about 195 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River. Katrina turned to the northwest and then north, with the center making landfall near Buras, Louisiana at 1110 UTC August 29 with maximum winds estimated at 125 mph (Category 3). Continuing northward, the hurricane made a second landfall near the Louisiana/Mississippi border at 1445 UTC with maximum winds estimated at 120 mph (Category 3). Weakening occurred as Katrina moved north-northeastward over land, but it was still a hurricane near Laurel, Mississippi. The cyclone weakened to a tropical depression over the Tennessee Valley on 30 August. Katrina became an extratropical low on August 31 and was absorbed by a frontal zone later that day over the eastern Great Lakes.

    Katrina brought hurricane conditions to southeastern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, and southwestern Alabama. The Coastal Marine Automated Network (C-MAN) station at Grand Isle, Louisiana reported 10-minute average winds of 87 mph at 0820 UTC August 29 with a gust to 114 mph. Higher winds likely occurred there and elsewhere, as many stations were destroyed, lost power, or lost communications during the storm. Storm surge flooding of 25 to 28 feet above normal tide level occurred along portions of the Mississippi coast, with storm surge flooding of 10 to 20 feet above normal tide levels along the southeastern Louisiana coast. Hurricane conditions also occurred over southern Florida and the Dry Tortugas. The National Hurricane Center reported sustained winds of 69 mph at 0115 UTC August 26 with a gust to 87 mph. Additionally, tropical storm conditions occurred along the northern Gulf coast as far east as the coast of the western Florida Panhandle, as well as in the Florida Keys. Katrina caused 10 to 14 inches of rain over southern Florida, and 8 to 12 inches of rain along its track inland from the northern Gulf coast. Thirty-three tornadoes were reported from the storm.

    Katrina is responsible for approximately 1200 reported deaths, including about 1000 in Louisiana and 200 in Mississippi. Seven additional deaths occurred in southern Florida. Katrina caused catastrophic damage in southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi. Storm surge along the Mississippi coast caused total destruction of many structures, with the surge damage extending several miles inland. Similar damage occurred in portions of southeastern Louisiana southeast of New Orleans. The surge overtopped and breached levees in the New Orleans metropolitan area, resulting in the inundation of much of the city and its eastern suburbs. Wind damage from Katrina extended well inland into northern Mississippi and Alabama. The hurricane also caused wind and water damage in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

    Hurricane Rita 2005

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    Rita, the third Category 5 hurricane of the season, was a destructive and deadly hurricane that devastated portions of southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana and significantly impacted the Florida Keys.

    A tropical wave and the remnants of an old front combined to produce and area of disturbed weather on 16 September. This system became a depression just east of the Turks and Caicos Islands late on 17 September, which moved westward and became a tropical storm the following afternoon. Maximum winds increased to 70 mph as Rita moved through the central Bahamas on September 19. While the storm did not strengthen during the following night, rapid intensification began on September 20 as it moved through the Straits of Florida. Rita became a hurricane that day and reached Category 2 intensity as the center passed about 50 miles south of Key West, Florida.

    After entering the Gulf of Mexico, Rita intensified from Category 2 to Category 5 in about 24 hours. The maximum sustained winds reached 165 mph late on September 21, and the hurricane reached a peak intensity of 180 mph early on September 22. Weakening began later that day and continued until landfall around 0740 UTC 24 September just east of the Texas/Louisiana border between Sabine Pass and Johnson's Bayou. At that time, maximum sustained winds were 115 mph (Category 3). Weakening continued after landfall, but Rita remained a tropical storm until reaching northwestern Louisiana late on 24 September. The cyclone then turned northeastward and merged with a frontal system two days later. Rita brought hurricane conditions to southwestern Louisiana and southeastern Texas. A FCMP instrumented tower at Port Arthur reported 1-min average winds of 94 mph at 0826 UTC September 24 along with a gust of 116 mph. The C-MAN station at Sea Rim State Park, Texas reported 2-minute average winds of 82 mph at 0700 UTC September 24, along with a peak gust of 99 mph. The hurricane caused storm-surge flooding of 10 to 15 ft above normal tide levels along the southwestern coast of Louisiana, caused a notable surge on the inland Lake Livingston, Texas, and inundated portions of the New Orleans area previously flooded by Katrina. Tropical storm conditions occurred in the Florida Keys, where the C-MAN station at Sand Key reported 10-minute average winds of 72 mph at 2110 UTC September 20 with a gust to 92 mph. The station failed shortly thereafter. Storm surge flooding of up to 5 feet above normal tide levels occurred in the Keys.

    Rita produced rainfalls of 5 to 9 inches over large portions of Louisiana, Mississippi, and eastern Texas, with isolated amounts of 10 to 15 inches. The cyclone spawned an estimated 90 tornadoes over the southern United States.

    Devastating storm surge flooding and wind damage in occurred southwestern Louisiana and extreme southeastern Texas, with some surge damage occurring in the Florida Keys. Rita was responsible for seven deaths, and it caused damage estimated at $10 billion in the United States.

    Hurricane Wilma 2005

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    The massive and powerful Wilma formed from a broad area of disturbed weather that stretched across much of the Caribbean Sea during the second week of October. A surface low pressure system gradually became defined near Jamaica on October 14, leading to the formation of a tropical depression on October 15 about 220 miles east-southeast of Grand Cayman. The cyclone moved erratically westward and southward for two days while slowly strengthening into a tropical storm. Wilma became a hurricane and began a west-northwestward motion on October 18. Later that day, Wilma began to explosively deepen. The aircraft-measured minimum central pressure reached 882 mb near 0800 UTC October 19. This pressure was accompanied by a 2-4 mile wide eye. Wilma's maximum intensity is estimated to have been 185 mph a few hours after the 882 mb pressure. On October 20, Wilma weakened slightly and turned northwestward toward the northeastern Yucatan Peninsula. Late on October 21, the slow-moving hurricane made landfall over Cozumel, followed by landfall early the next day over the northeastern Yucatan Peninsula - both at Category 4 intensity. Wilma moved slowly and weakened over northeastern Yucatan, emerging over the Gulf of Mexico early on October 23 as a Category 2 hurricane. Later that day it accelerated northeastward toward southern Florida. The hurricane strengthened over the Gulf waters, and its center made landfall near Cape Romano around 1030 UTC October 24 as a Category 3 hurricane. The eye crossed the Florida Peninsula in less than five hours, moving into the Atlantic just north of Palm Beach as a Category 2 hurricane. Wilma briefly re-intensified just east of Florida, then weakened thereafter. The hurricane moved rapidly northeastward over the western Atlantic and became extratropical about 230 miles southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia late on October 25. The remnants of Wilma were absorbed by another low late the next day.

    Wilma brought hurricane conditions to the northeastern Yucatan Peninsula and the adjacent islands, as well as to southern Florida. In Mexico, Cancun reported 10-minute average winds of 100 mph with a gust to 130 mph at 0000 UTC October 22, while Cozumel reported a pressure of 928.0 mb late on October 21. The Isla Mujeres reported 62.05 inches of rain during the hurricane's passage. In Florida, a South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) station in Lake Okeechobee reported 15-minute average winds of 92 mph with a gust to 112 mph at 1500 UTC October 24, while a nearby SFWMD station in Belle Glade reported a gust to 117 mph. Ten tornadoes occurred in Florida due to Wilma.

    Twenty-two deaths have been directly attributed to Wilma: 12 in Haiti, 1 in Jamaica, 4 in Mexico, and 5 in Florida. The hurricane caused severe damage in northeastern Yucatan, including Cancun and Cozumel, and widespread damage estimated at $16.8 billion in southern Florida. Wilma also produced major floods in western Cuba.

    The 882 mb pressure reported in Wilma is the lowest central pressure on record in an Atlantic hurricane, breaking the old record of 888 mb set by Hurricane Gilbert in September 1988. The central pressure fell 88 mb in 12 hours, which shatters the record of 48 mb in 12 hours held by Hurricane Allen in August 1980.

    Hurricane Ike 2008

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    Ike was a long-lived and major Cape Verde hurricane that caused extensive damage and many deaths across portions of the Caribbean and along the coasts of Texas and Louisiana. It originated from a well-defined tropical wave that moved off the west coast of Africa on August 28 and then became a tropical depression on September 1 about 775 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands. The depression quickly strengthened to a tropical storm later that day. Ike became a hurricane on September 3, and Ike reached an estimated peak intensity of 145 mph (Category 4) on September 4 when it was located 550 miles northeast of the Leeward Islands. After weakening briefly, Ike regained Category 4 status just before moving across the Turks and Caicos Islands on September 7. Ike then passed over Great Inagua Island in the southeastern Bahamas at Category 3 strength.

    Ike turned westward and made landfall along the northeast coast of Cuba in the province of Holguin early on September 8 with maximum sustained winds estimated near 135 mph (Category 4). Ike made a second landfall in Cuba over the extreme southeastern part of the province of Pinar del Rio on September 9, with winds of 80 mph (Category 1). It moved into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico later that day.

    Ike developed a large wind field as it moved northwestward across the Gulf of Mexico over the next 3 days, with tropical-storm-force winds extending up to 275 miles from the center and hurricane-force winds extending up to 115 miles from the center. The hurricane gradually intensified as it moved across the Gulf toward the Texas coast. Ike made landfall over the north end of Galveston Island in the early morning hours of September 13 as a Category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph. The hurricane weakened as it moved inland across eastern Texas and Arkansas and became extratropical over the middle Mississippi Valley on September 14. It then moved rapidly through the Ohio valley and into Canada, producing wind gusts to hurricane force along the way.

    Grand Turk Island reported sustained winds of 116 mph as the center of Ike crossed the island. Storm surges of 15-20 feet above normal tide levels occurred along the Bolivar Peninsula of Texas and in much of the Galveston Bay area, with surges of up to 10 feet above normal occurring as far east as south central Louisiana. Storm total rainfalls from Ike were as much as 19 inches in southeastern Texas and 14 inches in Cuba.

    Ike left a long trail of death and destruction. It is estimated that flooding and mud slides killed 74 people in Haiti and 2 in the Dominican Republic, compounding the problems caused by Fay, Gustav, and Hanna. The Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas sustained widespread damage to property. Seven deaths were reported in Cuba. Ike's storm surge devastated the Bolivar Peninsula of Texas, and surge, winds, and flooding from heavy rains caused widespread damage in other portions of southeastern Texas, western Louisiana, and Arkansas. Twenty people were killed in these areas, with 34 others still missing. Property damage from Ike as a hurricane is estimated at $19.3 billion. Additionally, as an extratropical system over the Ohio valley, Ike was directly or indirectly responsible for 28 deaths and more than $1 billion in property damage.
  20. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    No offense intended, but the photographer had been looking for this woman for 17 years----------the quest may have colored his objectivity. (it's a psychology thing---)
    I am often wrong, but to my sculptor's eye, the bone structure of these faces seems different. (more details) I have known some women over spans of 50 years, and barring an accident, the shape of the tip of the nose rarely changes, and this one did. ------
    Mostly, I go with my general impressions instead of building from specific details, then look for confirmation in details. And the impression i received was that they are different women--maybe closely related, but, different.
    Assuming that the photographer took several pictures of the woman(both times), or women: It would clarify matters somewhat if we could see all of the pictures.
  21. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    This article lists various tornado records. The most extreme tornado in recorded history was the Tri-State Tornado, which roared through parts of Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana on March 18, 1925. It was likely an F5, though tornadoes were not ranked on any scale in that era. It holds records for longest path length at 219 mi (352 km), longest duration at about 3.5 hours, and fastest forward speed for a significant tornado at 73 mph (117 km/h) anywhere on Earth. In addition, it is the deadliest single tornado in United States history (695 dead).[1] It was also the second costliest tornado in history at the time, but has been surpassed by several others non-normalized. When costs are normalized for wealth and inflation, it still ranks third today.

    The deadliest tornado in world history was the Daulatpur–Saturia tornado in Bangladesh on April 26, 1989, which killed approximately 1,300 people.[3] Bangladesh has had at least 19 tornadoes in its history kill more than 100 people, almost half of the total for the rest of the world.

    For 37 years, the most extensive tornado outbreak on record, in almost every category, was the Super Outbreak, which affected a large area of the central United States and extreme southern Ontario in Canada on April 3 and April 4, 1974. Not only did this outbreak feature an incredible 148 tornadoes in only 18 hours, but an unprecedented number of them were violent; 7 were of F5 intensity and 23 were F4. This outbreak had a staggering 16 tornadoes on the ground at the same time at the peak of the outbreak. More than 300 people, possibly as many as 330, were killed by tornadoes during this outbreak. However, this record was later broken during the April 25–28, 2011 tornado outbreak, which resulted in 325 tornadic fatalities and had 358 tornadoes touch down.

    Most tornadoes in single 24-hour period

    The April 25–28, 2011 tornado outbreak is the most prolific tornado outbreak in US history. It produced approximately 358 tornadoes, with 208 of those in a single 24-hour period on April 27[5] with 11 EF4 and 4 EF5 tornadoes. 349 deaths occurred in that same 24-hour time period of which 325 were tornado related. The outbreak helped smash the record for most tornadoes in the month of April with 770 tornadoes, almost triple the prior record (267 in April 1974). The overall record for a single month was 542 in May 2003, which was also broken.

    The infamous Super Outbreak of April 3–4, 1974, which spawned 148 confirmed tornadoes across eastern North America, held the record for the most prolific tornado outbreak for many years. Not only did it produce an exceptional number of tornadoes, but it was also an inordinately intense outbreak producing dozens of large, long-track tornadoes, including 7 F5 and 23 F4 tornadoes. More significant tornadoes occurred within 24 hours than any other week in the tornado record.[7] Due to a secular trend in tornado reporting, the 2011 and 1974 tornado counts are not directly comparable.

    Longest continuous outbreak and largest autumnal outbreak

    Most tornado outbreaks in North America occur in the spring, but there is a secondary peak of tornado activity in the fall which is less consistent but can include exceptionally large and/or intense outbreaks. In 1992, an estimated 95 tornadoes broke out in a record 41 hours of continuous tornado activity from November 21 to 23. This is also among the largest known outbreaks in areal expanse. Many other very large outbreaks have occurred in autumn, especially in October and November.

    Greatest number of tornadoes spawned from a hurricane

    The greatest number of tornadoes spawned from a hurricane is 118 from Hurricane Ivan in 2004. Caution is advised comparing the raw number of counted tornadoes from recent decades to decades prior to the 1990s since more tornadoes that occur are now recorded than in the past.

    Deadliest single tornado in world history

    On April 26, 1989 in Bangladesh a massive tornado took at least 1,300 lives.

    Deadliest single tornado in US history

    The Tri-State Tornado of March 18, 1925 killed 695 people in Missouri (11), Illinois (613), and Indiana (71). The outbreak it occurred with was also the deadliest known tornado outbreak, with a combined death toll of 747 across the Mississippi River Valley.

    Most damaging tornado

    Similar to fatalities, damage (and observations) of a tornado are a coincidence of what character of tornado interacts with certain characteristics of built up areas. That is, destructive tornadoes are in a sense "accidents" of a large tornado striking a large population. In addition to population and changes thereof, comparing damage historically is subject to changes in wealth and inflation. The 1896 St. Louis–East St. Louis tornado on May 27, incurred the most damages adjusted for wealth and inflation, at an estimated $2.9 billion (1997 USD). In raw numbers, the Joplin tornado of May 22, 2011 is considered the costliest tornado in recent history, with damage totals near $2.8 billion (2011 USD). Until 2011, the "Oklahoma City tornado" of May 3, 1999 was the most damaging.

    Highest winds observed in a tornado

    During the F5 1999 Bridge Creek–Moore tornado on May 3, 1999, a Doppler on Wheels situated near the tornado measured winds of 301 ± 20 mph (484 ± 32 km/h) momentarily in a small area inside the funnel approximately 100 m (330 ft) above ground level.

    On May 31, 2013, a tornado hit rural area south of El Reno, Oklahoma. The tornado was originally rated as an EF3 based on damage; however, after mobile radar data analysis was conducted, it was concluded to have an EF5 due to a measured wind speed which topped at 296 mph (476 kmh), second only to the Bridge Creek - Moore tornado. Despite the recorded windspeed, the El Reno tornado was later downgraded back to EF3 due to the fact that no EF5 damage was found.

    Winds were measured at 257–268 mph (414–431 km/h) using portable Doppler radar in the Red Rock, Oklahoma tornado during the April 26, 1991 tornado outbreak. Though these winds are possibly indicative of an F5 strength tornado, this particular tornado's path never encountered any significant structures and caused minimal damage. Thus it was rated an F4.

    Longest damage path and duration

    The longest known track for a single tornado is the Tri-State Tornado with a path length of 151 to 235 mi (243 to 378 km). For years there was debate whether the originally recognized path length of 219 mi (352 km) over 3.5 hours was from one tornado or a series. Some very long track (VLT) tornadoes were later determined to be successive tornadoes spawned by the same supercell thunderstorm, which are known as a tornado family. The Tri-State Tornado, however, appeared to have to no gaps in the damage. A six year reanalysis study by a team of severe convective storm meteorologists found insufficient evidence to make firm conclusions but does conclude that it is likely that the beginning and ending of the path was resultant of separate tornadoes comprising a tornado family. It also found that the tornado began 15 mi (24 km) to the west and ended 1 mi (1.6 km) farther east than previously known, bringing the total path to 235 mi (378 km). The 174 mi (280 km) segment from central Madison County, Missouri to Pike County, Indiana is likely one continuous tornado and the 151 mi (243 km) segment from central Bollinger County, Missouri to western Pike County, Indiana is very likely a single continuous tornado. Another significant tornado was found about 65 mi (105 km) east-northeast of the end of aforementioned segment(s) of the Tri-State Tornado Family and is likely another member of the family. Its path length of 20 mi (32 km) over about 20 min makes the known tornado family path length total to 320 mi (510 km) over about 5.5 hours[15] Grazulis in 2001 wrote that the first 60 mi (97 km) of the (originally recognized) track is probably the result of two or more tornadoes and that a path length of 157 mi (253 km) was seemingly continuous.

    Longest path and duration tornado family

    What at one time was thought to be the record holder for the longest tornado path is now thought to be the longest tornado family, with a track of at least 293 miles (472 km) on May 26, 1917 from the Missouri border across Illinois into Indiana. It caused severe damage and mass casualties in Charleston and Mattoon, Illinois.

    What was probably the longest track supercell thunderstorm tracked 790 miles (1,270 km) across 6 states in 17.5 hours on March 12, 2006 as part of the March 2006 tornado outbreak sequence. It began in Noble County, Oklahoma and ended in Jackson County, Michigan, producing many tornadoes in Missouri and Illinois.

    Largest path width

    The widest tornado on record may be the El Reno, Oklahoma tornado of May 31, 2013 with a width of 2.6 miles (4.2 km) at its peak. This is the width found by the National Weather Service based on preliminary data from University of Oklahoma RaxPol mobile radar that also sampled winds of 296 mph (476 km/h) which was used to upgrade the tornado to EF5.[18] The radar measurement was later dismissed and the tornado was rated EF3 based on damage.[19] However, a possible contender for the widest tornado as measured by radar was the F4 Mulhall tornado in north-central Oklahoma which occurred during the 1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak. The diameter of the maximum winds (over 110 mph (49 m/s)) was over 5,200 feet (1,600 m) as measured by a DOW radar. Although the tornado passed largely over rural terrain, the width of the wind swath capable of producing damage was as wide as 4 mi (6.4 km).
    The F4 Hallam, Nebraska tornado during the outbreak of May 22, 2004 was the previous official record holder for the widest tornado, surveyed at 2.5 miles (4.0 km) wide. A similar size tornado struck Edmonson, Texas on May 31, 1968, when a damage path width between 2 to 3 miles (3.2 to 4.8 km) was recorded from an F3 tornado.

    Highest forward speed

    73 miles per hour (117 km/h) from the Tri-State Tornado (other weak tornadoes have approached or exceeded this speed, but this is the fastest forward movement observed in a major tornado).

    Greatest pressure drop

    A pressure deficit of 100 millibars (2.95 inHg) was observed when a violent tornado near Manchester, South Dakota on June 24, 2003 passed directly over an in-situ probe that storm chasing researcher Tim Samaras deployed.[23] In less than a minute, the pressure dropped to 850 millibars (25.10 inHg), which are the greatest pressure decline and the lowest pressure ever recorded at the Earth's surface when adjusted to sea level.

    On April 21, 2007, a 194-millibar (5.73 inHg) pressure deficit was reported when a tornado struck a storm chasing vehicle in Tulia, Texas.[26] The tornado was relatively weak and caused only EF2 damage as it passed through Tulia.[citation needed] The reported pressure drop far exceeds that which would be expected based on theoretical calculations.

    There is a questionable and unofficial citizen's barometer measurement of a 192-millibar (5.67 inHg) drop around Minneapolis in 1904.

    Early tornadoes

    Earliest known tornado in Europe
    The earliest recorded tornado in Europe struck Rosdalla, near Kilbeggan, Ireland on April 30, 1054. The earliest known British tornado hit central London on October 23, 1091 and was especially destructive.

    Earliest known tornado in the Americas
    An apparent tornado is recorded to have struck Tlatelolco (present day Mexico City), on August 21, 1521, two days before the Aztec capital's fall to Cortés. Many other tornadoes are documented historically within the Basin of Mexico.

    First confirmed tornado and first tornado fatality in present-day United States
    August 1671 - Rehoboth, Massachusetts
    July 8, 1680 - Cambridge, Massachusetts - 1 dead

    Exceptional tornado droughts

    Longest span without a tornado rated F5 or EF5

    Before the Greensburg EF5 tornado on May 4, 2007, it had been 8 years and one day since the US had had a confirmed F5 or EF5 tornado. The last confirmed F5 or EF5 hit southern Oklahoma City and surrounding communities during the May 3, 1999 event. This is the longest interval without an F5 or EF5 tornado since official records began in 1950.

    Exceptional survivors

    Longest distance carried by a tornado

    Matt Suter of Fordland, Missouri holds the record for the longest-known distance traveled by anyone picked up by a tornado who lived to tell about it. On March 12, 2006 he was carried 1,307 feet (398 m), 13 feet (4.0 m) shy of one-quarter mile (400 m), according to National Weather Service measurements.

    Exceptional coincidences

    Codell, Kansas

    The small town of Codell, Kansas, was hit by a tornado on the same date (May 20) three consecutive years: 1916, 1917, and 1918.[36] The U.S. has about 100,000 thunderstorms a year; less than one percent produce a tornado. The odds of this coincidence occurring again is extremely small.

    Tanner/Harvest, Alabama

    Tanner, a small town in northern Alabama, was hit by an F5 tornado on April 3, 1974 and was struck again 45 minutes later by a second F5 (however the rating is disputed and it may have been high-end F4), demolishing what remained of the town. 37 years later, on April 27, 2011 (the largest and deadliest outbreak since 1974), Tanner was hit yet again by the EF5 2011 Hackleburg–Phil Campbell, Alabama tornado, which produced high-end EF4 damage in the southern portion of town. The suburban community of Harvest, Alabama, just to the north, also sustained major impacts from all three Tanner tornadoes, and was also hit by destructive tornadoes in 1995 and 2012.

    Moore, Oklahoma

    The Oklahoma City suburb of Moore was hit by devastating tornadoes in 1973, 1999, 2003, 2010, and 2013, five of which were of F4/EF4 strength or greater, although it was determined that the tornado in 2003 caused no F4 damage within Moore itself, but in areas to its northeast. The 1999 and 2013 events were rated F5 and EF5, respectively. In total, about 20 tornadoes have struck within the immediate vicinity of Moore since 1890.

    Tuscaloosa, Alabama

    The college town of Tuscaloosa, Alabama was directly hit by killer tornadoes in 1932, 1975, 1997, 2000, and 2011, all but one of which were rated F4 or EF4 (the 1997 tornado was rated F2). The 2011 tornado went on to devastate parts of Birmingham, Alabama.

    Birmingham, Alabama

    The northwestern suburbs of Birmingham, Alabama have been devastated by violent and deadly tornadoes in 1954, 1977, 1998, and 2011. The 1977 and 1998 tornadoes were rated F5, and the 1954 and 2011 tornadoes were rated F4 and EF4. The suburb of McDonald Chapel was hit directly by the 1956, 1998, and 2011 tornadoes.

    St. Louis, Missouri

    Throughout history, the Greater St. Louis area has been hit by destructive and deadly tornado numerous times, most notably in 1871, 1896, 1927, 1959, 1967, and 2011. The 1896 tornado killed 255 people, and was the third deadliest in American history, and the 1896 tornado was the costliest whereas as the 1927 tornado was the second costliest (adjusted for inflation and increasing population). Additionally, the first and second most costly hailstorms also struck St. Louis on 10 April 2001 and 28 April 2012, respectively, with the former causing more damage in real dollars than the 1999 Oklahoma City tornado did.

    McConnell AFB/Haysville, Kansas

    The southern portions of the Wichita, KS Metropolitan Statistical Area, particularly the suburb of Haysville and nearby McConnell Air Force Base, have been hit by destructive tornadoes in 1991, 1999, and 2012. A violent tornado on April 26, 1991 went on to strike nearby Andover at F5 strength, killing 17 people. Remarkably, an F3 tornado followed a very similar path through the area the next month, causing an additional $1,000,000 in damage. The 2012 tornado followed a path that was almost identical to both of the 1991 tornadoes.
  22. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    Historically tsunamis have affected coastlines and islands worldwide. Over the past 240 years in the United States alone, 24 tsunamis have been recorded. Since 1646, six tsunamis have killed more than 350 people and damaged a half billion dollars of property in Hawaii, Alaska and the West Coast. The information in this page will focus on past tsunamis worldwide and their effect on the understanding of tsunamis.

    According to the Geological Survey of Canada the Richter scale is used to measure the magnitude of an earthquake. The magnitude of an earthquake is a measure of the amount of energy released. The scale is logarithmic, therefore the intensity of the earthquake measured increases greatly from each measure on the scale. For example:


    1 to 3: Recorded on local seismographs, but generally not felt.

    3 to 4: Often felt, no damage.

    5: Felt widely, slight damage near epicenter.

    6: Damage to poorly constructed buildings and other structures within 10's km

    7: "Major" earthquake, causes serious damage up to ~100 km

    8: "Great" earthquake, great destruction, loss of life over several 100 km

    9: Rare great earthquake, major damage over a large region over 1000 km (such as Chile 1960, Alaska 1964, Indonesia 2004)

    Some Past Tsunamis

    6100 B.C. – Norway

    Storegga Slides, landslides that occurred under the water near the edge of Norway’s continental shelf. An area roughly the size of Iceland shifted causing a megatsunami in the North Atlantic Ocean.

    1650 B.C. – Santorini

    A Greek volcanic island eruption caused a tsunami, estimated to be between 100 m and 150 m high and devastated the island of Crete 75 km away. Santorini is thought, by some, to be the cause of the Great Flood recorded in Jewish, Christian and Islamic historical texts.

    1700– North America and Japan

    A massive tsunami caused by an earthquake along a 1,000-mile fault hit the coastal areas of northern California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, on January 26, 1700. The tsunami also caused flooding and damage in Japan. Geologist Brian Atwater of the U.S. Geological Survey has made many discoveries exposing the history of the land and the coastal peoples of the Northwest. Layers of beach sand enabled him to pinpoint the exact date of the 1700 tsunami. Experts say another tsunami may strike the region in the next century.

    1775 – Lisbon, Portugal

    The Sunday earthquake that devastated Lisbon sent many people fleeing from churches to the coastlines to avoid falling debris. The tsunami that followed killed tens of thousands of people. Overall, at least one-third of Lisbon’s pre-earthquake population of 275,000 was killed.

    1883 – Krakatoa

    An island volcano in Indonesia, Krakatoa exploded so dramatically in 1883 that it forced much of the seabed below to collapse. The picture above shows the parts of the island that fell into the sea, creating a series of tsunamis (some reaching over 40 meters in height). This tsunami event was experienced in multiple regions throughout the world. Evidence of the tsunami has been found in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, the American West Coast, South America, and even in the English Channel. Areas in Java and Sumatra were so devastated that they were never inhabited again, and became nature reserves.

    1929 – Newfoundland

    An earthquake that measured 7.2 on the Richter scale occurred beneath the ocean on the Grand Banks, underwater plateaus southeast of Newfoundland. The tsunami reached heights of over 7 meters and hit the southern coast of Newfoundland, where 28 people were killed as a result.

    1946 – Aleutian Islands and Pacific Ocean

    On April 1, 1946 an earthquake triggered a tsunami near the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. The magnitude of this earthquake was 7.8. The height of the tsunami is not known but in the Aleutian Islands it had killed 165 people and caused over $26 million in damage. A Pacific-wide tsunami was also created as a result of this earthquake. The tsunami travelled through the Pacific Ocean and struck Hawaii and the French Marquesas Islands. In the Marquesas Islands, the local people knew the dangers of a tsunami and some of the warning signs. Survivors of the 1946 tsunami or "taitoko" as it is called on the islands, recall being warned by their elders to flee for higher ground. Waters ran up into low-lying areas of this small group of islands during this tsunami at a depth of 20 meters in the low-lying regions. This is an important event in the history of tsunamis as it lead to the creation of the Pacific Warning System. This system created a method of warning areas that could be affected by an impending tsunami before it actually hit.

    1960 – Chile

    The largest recorded earthquake of the 20th century occurred on May 22, 1960 off the coast of south-central Chile. It was measured at a magnitude of 9.5 and generated a Pacific-wide tsunami similar to the tsunami of 1946. The death toll in Chile was estimated at 2,300 people. In Hilo, Hawaii the destructive waves took the lives of 61 people. The waves also reached Japan, damaging coastlines and the fishing industry.

    1964 – Good Friday Tsunami

    An earthquake that measured 9.2 generated tsunamis that struck Alaska, British Columbia, California, and Pacific Northwest towns. Waves reached a height of nearly 6 meters and struck as far away as Crescent City, California.

    1979 – Tumaco, Colombia

    A 7.9 magnitude earthquake occurred off the Pacific coast of Colombia and Ecuador on December 12, 1979. This tsunami killed an estimated 400 people and left 798 wounded.

    1999– Izmit Bay, Turkey

    It is a common misconception that tsunamis only occur in oceanic areas. The 1999 tsunami that struck parts of western Turkey originated in the Sea of Marmara, part of the Turkish Straits. The earthquake event known as Kocaeli was located on the Northern Anatolian Fault, sending water from the sea towards Turkey. Areas sustaining the largest damage were Golcuk, where water run up reached a height of 4 meters. The cities of Degirmendere and Karamursel also experienced heavy damage due to flooding.

    Factors that could have prevented the widespread damage are still being researched. Many things have been learned as a result of this tsunami and the further implementation of warning systems as well as changing the construction of buildings and roads will help to prevent future damages.

    2004 – Indian Ocean

    Triggered by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake, this historic tsunami sent waves throughout the Indian Ocean, and even into the Pacific Ocean. Unlike the Pacific Ocean warning system, this region had no formal means of warning the public of an incoming tsunami. Final death tolls are up to 300,000 deaths, with 5 million more people affected by the tsunami
  23. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    Route 66 & the National Old Trails Highway

    The story of Route 66 starts over a century earlier when a young country began to grow westward. The vast unexplored lands beyond the Mississippi River fired the imagination of the American people. The seemingly limitless resources beckoned to a nation on the move. The mountain men themselves, in an effort to leave the settled east behind, inadvertently opened up the unspoiled west to the westward expansion of a nation by their explorations. There were no established trails but the ones the mountain men blazed themselves as they followed the beaver along the traces left by the Native Americans.

    These old trails, blazed by the mountain men, were generally all that existed for the immigrant wagon trains that followed shortly after. The trails were general courses, where wagons would spread out over a wide area, following a single track only where landforms forced them to.

    With the gold rush of 1849, thousands of people sought routes to California, publicizing the area in an unprecedented way. The west was being opened and from trails such as the Santa Fe Trail, Jedediah Smith’s route across the Mojave Desert to San Bernardino and Beale’s Wagon Road across New Mexico and Arizona a transportation corridor began to emerge. The railroads would follow this corridor a few years later further establishing routes west that would someday become a part of Route 66. The railroad also provided new routes for wagon travel, and wagons increasingly followed alongside the tracks.

    Because train engines were limited in the terrain they could cross, railroad routes were painstakingly chosen. The railroad had to follow the contours of the land, avoiding steep grades. The railroad also had to connect sources of water, as the steam engines of those days required substantial water. As a result, the route was far easier and more gradual than earlier wagon roads had been. Wagon travelers (and, later, motorists) following alongside the rail tracks could find water and get help in emergencies. Many of the sidings and water stops became communities that would survive into the highway era.

    The advent of the automobile changed the face of America forever. The arrival of Ford’s Model T in 1908 had a dramatic effect on the American populace, as automobiles became accessible to the common man. The automobile provided a new economic base never seen before. Now Americans began to travel. No longer were they confined to the short distances that a horse could travel in a day. Journeys that would take many days on horseback or wagon now took a mere few hours.

    With the introduction of the automobile, new businesses sprang up to provide services for the burgeoning tourist industry. The American Dream was about to undergo a profound change, a change we still experience today. Travel by automobile was hard in the early days though. The roads weren’t designed for the horseless carriage. Dirt roads were little better than local trails designed for travel by horseback. Roads would have to improve before the automobile could open up the vast corners of our country. By 1917 only 2 percent of the nation’s roads were paved. Most roads were unimproved earth, although some were graded, graveled, or both.

    Early Auto Camp Trail organizations were started to address these problems. These were local groups that promoted the roads around the towns where they lived. There was no real national cohesion at this time. Local groups did what they pretty much wanted to in their own area. The lack of any national highway group led to a confusing array of maps and road guides. No two maps were alike. Each guide reflected the organization that had produced it. There was no correlation between early trail associations and maps often overlapped. Road maps were limited to the general area or state that the trail organization hailed from. Furthermore the use of highway symbols and color schemes was not standardized. Navigating from town to town and state to state was very confusing. By the 1920s the public was confused and disgusted. The cry for a standardized National Highway System was louder than ever before.

    The government knew that something would have to be done about the poor road system in America. The Federal Government finally stepped in and made a concerted effort to bring the various trail organizations and automobile groups together. In 1921, an amendment to the Federal Aid Road Act was passed, requiring states to designate primary roads to be included in a state highway system. These roads would be designated U.S. highways.

    Cyrus Avery Cyrus Avery was a successful businessman from Oklahoma that wanted to improve road conditions in his state. Avery, now known to many as the father of Route 66, was charged with establishing what would become the U.S. highway system, by plotting and mapping the most-important interstate roads in the nation. The Associated Highways of America developed a plan for the nation’s highways. They laid out a highway system, organized a maintenance plan for those highways, established a systematic numbering system that replaced the previous tradition of naming roads (Lincoln Highway, National Old Trails Road, etc.) and a system of standardized, uniform directional, warning, and regulatory signs for the U.S. highway system. Cyrus Avery became one of the strongest supporters of the Chicago to Los Angeles route, a route that he wanted to pass through his home state of Oklahoma.

    Supporters of the major east to west route from Chicago to Los Angeles wanted to follow the Old Santa Fe Trail, which would by pass Oklahoma. This road would be linked with the Old Santa Fe Trail across the Southwest, which would then be connected to Beale’s wagon route through California to form the National Old Trails Road. Avery knew that a major highway through Oklahoma would boost that state’s economy so he relentlessly pushed for an alternate route. Cyrus Avery used a little known trail from the California Gold Rush that ran through Oklahoma, as he drew plans for the route that would become Route 66. He was successful in his bid to have the new route pass through his home state. This route was designated U.S. Highway 66. On November 11, 1926 a bill was signed in Washington creating the American Highway System. Route 66 along with the rest of the early two-lane roads became a reality. Our country had entered a new era. The great roads were to be built. Roads to carry a nation on the move, through hard times, war, and rebirth. Route 66 would become the most celebrated and famous of these two-lanes. Route 66 was about to become the "Main Street of America."
    Route 66 Travelers

    Modern Route 66 Travel in the 1930's Route 66 has held a special place in the American consciousness from its beginning. The road is uniquely American. There are a thousand stories of hope, heartbreak, love, hate, starting over, and new dreams found along the next bend of the highway we call the Mother Road. The story of Route 66 is our story; it embodies what makes us a great nation. No other culture has had the same type of love affair with the automobile, and few have had the wide-open spaces offered by the American West.

    The 2,400-mile route winds from Jackson Boulevard and Michigan Avenue in Chicago to Los Angeles, through the most romantic and celebrated portions of the American West. Route 66 was a lifeline through much of America, connecting the small midwestern towns of Illinois, Missouri, and Kansas, with the big cities of Los Angeles and Chicago.

    Route 66 is the National Old Trails Highway. On November 11, 1926 Route 66 was born. It followed the old trails laid out by the early explorers and railroad. Route 66 became the twentieth century version of the Oregon Trail, the golden road to the promised land and has inspired our spirit ever since. John Steinbeck called it the Mother Road, and indeed it was. It provided hope to the farmers of the dust bowl era going west to find a new life. It served our country well during time of war. In optimistic post W.W.II America, Route 66 defined a generation looking for adventure and freedom on the open road. To understand the history of Route 66 is to understand a little bit about ourselves, where we came from and where we hope to go in the future.

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