National Geographic : 1939 Apr
THE GEOGRAPHY OF A HURRICANE blown down on the car. When the police re moved her, they found that she had been reading Gone with the Wind. In a few short hours one of the Nation's greatest centers of popu lation, of indus try, of education, of culture, was set back from the age of electric lights, oil fur naces, stream lined trains, and telephones to the days of kero sene lamps, pot bellied stoves, and "shanks' mare." Wind, more than wave, did this-and what a wind! As far west of the storm's center as New York it blew 120 miles an hour on top of the Em pire State Build ing. On Mount Washington, highest point in New England, it blew 163. At Blue Hill Ob servatory, near Boston, it hit at least 186. These were gusts, but even the steady-blowing miles an hour. Photograph courtesy New England Telephone and Telegraph Company MEN WERE RUSHED 1,500 MILES TO REPAIR NEW ENGLAND'S PHONES When hurricane-felled trees put half a million telephones out of order, the Bell System speedily mobilized expert repair crews from as far away as Nebraska, Arkansas, and Virginia to help restore service. Equipped with their own trucks and tools, and using standardized methods, the men tackled the job beside their Yankee co-workers without loss of time. Grateful New Englanders ban queted crews returning home, and paraded them to depots with brass bands. winds shot up to 121 At Blue Hill, the director, Dr. C. F. Brooks, said: "The wind came in great puffs, as much as five minutes apart, and we could hear the puffs coming with a deep, heavy, roaring sound." The force of this blew down brick walls. Even at the far northern end of Lake Champlain it kicked up waves big enough to drive boats ashore. It not only stripped leaves from trees, but blew the leaves apart, leaving the mid- ribs still attached to the twigs. In parts of southern New England, foliage condi tions changed from early fall to full winter in two hours. STRANGE VISITORS-COME WITH THE WIND The wind brought strange visitors. A young gannet, whose normal habitat is the North Atlantic Ocean,* was blown as far * See "Birds of the High Seas," by Robert Cush man Murphy, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, August, 1938.