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HURRICANES by Patricia Lauber


by Patricia Lauber

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-590-47406-5
Publisher: Scholastic

A glossy book about monster storms, past and yet to be. Lauber (How Dinosaurs Came to Be, p. 553, etc.) begins with a description of the spectacular hurricane of 1938 that slammed into Long Island, bringing with it a wall of water 40 feet high that lifted entire houses off their foundations before moving on to Rhode Island where it swamped downtown Providence. With that attention-grabbing start, accompanied by many black-and-white historic photos that emphasize the devastation, Lauber steps back for an explanation of how hurricanes are formed, studied, and named. She recounts efforts to track, predict, and alter hurricanes, and then discusses more recent storms, including Hurricanes Andrew and Iniki in 1992. The full-color photos in this section show acres of palm trees flattened, buildings stripped of their walls, and a town turned to rubble. Noting that 1995, one of the busiest hurricane years of this century, may mark the beginning of a ``heavy'' cycle, Lauber discusses the implications for the more than 44 million Americans who live along the coastline and for fragile environments, such as the Florida Everglades. The book is thoroughly up-to-date, and, like its subject, quite powerful. (full-color photos, maps, diagrams, further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 8-11)