My review of the new book Blizzard!! The Great White Hurricane, by Timothy Minnich.
I made the mistake of reading this book over the holidays, and became so engrossed that I got out of bed twice on Christmas Eve just to read a few more pages.
Written by long-time meteorologist and atmospheric scientist Timothy Minnich, Blizzard!! The Great White Hurricane, is a must read for anyone interested in history or climate.
This captivating novel describes the circumstances leading up to the truly historic blizzard that pummeled the eastern seaboard of the United States beginning on March 11, 1888. The blizzard, arguably the greatest blizzard to ever strike the United States, killed more than 400 unprepared souls, 200 in New York City alone.
The word “unprepared” doesn’t begin to describe the chaos. Remember, there was no National Weather Service at that time, and thus no warning whatsoever – none! – of the impending disaster. No radios, no TVs, no cars, no trucks, no snowplows, and only the rich could afford electricity or primitive telephones.
But the rich suffered along with the poor.
Electric and telegraph lines went down, trains and buildings were buried beneath snowdrifts 30–40 feet (9–12 m) deep from New York to New England. Many three-story houses were totally covered, with some drifts measuring more than five stories deep (more than 50 feet). The streets became impassable (no surprise), with no way to deliver fresh food, milk, or coal for heat.
Fire stations were immobilized, and property loss from fire alone was estimated at $25 million (equivalent to $710 million in 2020).
According to Minnich, although the hero and his love interest (yes, it’s also a love story) are fictional, the events and descriptions, even the language, are as much as possible historically accurate, as is the depiction of New York City life in the late 1880’s.
I loved this book, and think you will too.
If you click here Timothy Minnich Blizzard!, you can read a chapter.
You can purchase the paperback version (or the eBook) at the same link.