On September 21, 1938, Everett S. Allen began his first day as a reporter. Before that day was over, without warning, he and hundreds of thousands of others along the Northeast coast experienced one of the most destructive hurricanes in American history. This book, based on diaries, letters, interviews, first-person recollections, and the files of newspapers and libraries, relives that terrible day and its aftermath from a personal and a historical viewpoint. Winds up to 130 miles an hour and swiftly rising water slammed into the shore from South Jersey to Boston. Rooftops and walls disappeared in seconds; floods of white water propelled debris at 50 mph; families huddled atop the roofs of summer cottages as they floated inland across miles of flooded marshes; a crowded train overturned as fishing vessels battered against it; a firestorm nearly leveled New London; and a sense of values and social continuity that generations of Yankees had known was wiped from the earth in one day.--From publisher description.