"Hurricane Beach Has Thwarted Every Destructtive Force Mother Nature Conspired To Throw At It..."
"Global Warming May Do What Mother Nature Could Not..."
On September 8, 1869 a small huuricane struck around New Bedford. It destroyed the New Bedford-Fairhaven bridge. It struck at low tide which lessened its impact and the storm surge only reached about 6.5 feet.
Prior to that storm, we have to go back to 1815 when The Great September Gale of 1815 struck Long Island and southern New England on the morning of September 23, 1815.
Historical records indicate that an intense hurricane struck New England in 1635. This is known as the Great Colonial Hurricane of August 25, 1635. Only 15 years after the Pilgrims landed in Plymouth and 5 years after the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Governors William Bradford and John Winthrop noted tidal surges on the southern coast of New England as high as 13 feet or more.
What's going on here?
Look at a map. New England and especially Cape Cod sticks out into the western Atlantic directly in the path of those tropical storms and hurricanes moving rapidly up the Atlantic coast. The only thing that saves us from hurricanes greater than category 3 is the water temperature.
Hurricanes feed and intensify on water 80 degrees or higher. The water temperature drops as a hurricane speeds northeast. This weakens most hurricanes before they reach Cape Cod.
However, there was a storm on August 26,1924 that destroyed the New Bedford-Fairhaven bridge. This was a category 2 hurricane with sustained winds of 90 miles and hour. Because this hurricane hit at low tide the storm surge was only 6.5 feet. Most of the damage was done to the majestic elms that used to grace the streets of New Bedford.
So many trees came down that Mayor Remington had city crews working all night to clear the roads. The trolleys could not run because of the fallen trees and many people had to spend the night without electricity.
This storm had little effect on hurricane beach.
The worst thing that happened in this storm was the loss of the three masted whaling bark "Wanderer". She was built in Mattapoisett in 1878 and weighed in at 228 tons. She was the last whaling ship to fly under the American registry.
In 1912, an angry whale attacked the ship 600 miles off Barbadoes. The whale stove in two whaleboats trying to harpoon it and killed one of the crew. Kill or be killed.
Ian 1922, the "Wanderer" was used in the silent film "Down To The Sea In Ships". It was Clara Bow's first film.
It is a sad sight to see the last of the square-riggers wrecked on the beach off Cuttyhunk.
The next hurricane to hit hurricane beach was in 1938. This was the mother of all hurricanes and was believed to be a category 5 hurricane. The storm surge in the Buzzards Bay funnel reached over 16 feet and converted hurricane beach to a lumber yard.
Next, another category 2 hit hurricane beach in 1944. Here are some results of that storm. Another lumber yard construction.
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