Isaac’s Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History
by Erik Larson
(Vintage, 2000, 336 pages)
Isaac’s Storm by Erik Larson hit the New York Times bestseller list in the fall of 1999. Isaac’s Storm is the true story of the greatest hurricane that ever hit Galveston, Texas and the man who didn’t predict the hurricane’s destructiveness. It is September 1900. A storm is brewing. Isaac Cline is the resident Galveston meteorologist. On September 8, 1900, Cline sees the barometer drop, the wind pick up, and the water rising. Cline believes that no hurricane could ever seriously damage Galveston. He was wrong.
Saturday, September 8, 1900 saw children playing on the beach in the rising water. Then, the water started to invade the streets of Galveston. Some flooding was not unexpected in Galveston. Then, the wind picked up. It began to rain. As the day went on, telegraph and telephone lines went down. Trains couldn’t run along flooded tracks. Entire homes and businesses were washed away. Ships broke away from their moorings. Over 6,000 people lost their lives. Isaac suffered his own tragic loss.
In Isaac’s Storm, Larson takes us into lives of some of the residents of and visitors to Galveston on September 8, 1900. Larson describes Cline’s thought process as he worries that the coming weather is going to be much worse than predicted. Isaac’s Storm is well researched and an interesting book. I recommend it to anyone who likes to read true life disaster stories.