The Last Snowing Hurricane

From his vantage point high above the earth in...

From his vantage point high above the earth in the International Space Station, Astronaut Ed Lu captured this broad view of Hurricane Isabel. The image was taken with a 50 mm lens on a digital camera. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lewis and Clark had just started out for points unknown.

Jefferson was President and was incumbent during the soon-coming election. Clinton was his running mate. George Clinton, that is.

The Electoral College had new rules to try out.

Then it hit.

No one alive had ever seen anything like it.

With no means of early warning, and few places out west for evacuation, many died.

People venturing outdoors the next day were shocked at being able to see nearby villages, a view normally obstructed by dense woods.

In some locales, the snow was 3 feet deep. And in some places it stayed on all winter.

Fruit trees laden with fruit snapped off at ground level; potatoes froze beneath the earth.

Ships in eastern harbors dragged anchor or broke the chains to their anchors and crashed together or floated to sea, killing many sailors.

Steeples, chimneys, and even entire roofs blew away.

Most trees were flattened, ruining the ship-building industry for years.

Estimated as a category 2-3, it landed near Atlantic City, which was 50 years in the future at that time.

It was the Atlantic snowing hurricane of October 9-10, 1804.

And though these were more primitive times — no snow-plows, for instance — the election was carried out in a timely manner.

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12 thoughts on “The Last Snowing Hurricane

  1. Ray's Mom says:

    Oh! I am so glad we did not have snow, the rain and wind was bad enough. There was snow in the mountains of western Maryland…. good reading about another time and another storm

  2. Ruth Bailey says:

    Although we lost power for two days, we didn’t suffer much damage. The northerly winds blew the water out of the creek, so the tides weren’t even as high as had been predicted. Being without modern conveniences makes us thankful for them now that they have been returned. Heat, lights, and running water are all wonderful! And we still have the privilege of voting next week (or earlier, if we prefer).

    • Katharine Trauger says:

      I am so glad you can vote! The rest is secondary, right? 😉
      We had an ice storm here, about 12 years ago, and with 3″ of ice on everything, you can imagine the destruction. Half of AR was without lights for at least a week, sometimes up to 3 weeks. We learned. You can heat water for washing your face over a candle.

    • Katharine Trauger says:

      I’m sure it’s already sorted. But it’ll take weeks of drama to reveal the total . . .

      Thanks for stopping by, Tilly! We’ve had many hurricanes on the east coast, but for reasons of everyone building skyscrapers and nuclear power plants in harm’s way, it costs us more these days.

      Fewer deaths, though, due to early warning capabilites. 🙂

  3. akateacher says:

    I can only imagine what people thought, back then. It’s hard enough dealing with the destruction, now. . . with our modern equipment and all. All the more reason to be thankful! 🙂

    • Katharine Trauger says:

      Right! So important to think on the good things, if possible.

      Oh, I am sure we need all the equipment, too, since our buildings are often so huge, these days and our vehicles just cannot make it over rock roads. Everything is different, except the neediness of the victims and the desire in good hearts to help . . .

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