Washed Away: How the Great Flood of 1913, America’s Most Widespread Natural Disaster, Terrorized a Nation and Changed it Forever.
It is the 100th anniversary of the Great Flood and, particularly after the recent devastation of Hurricane Sandy, and with New Orleans still recovering from Hurricane Katrina, Washed Away is a captivating, high-drama must-read for anyone fascinated with our unpredictable weather and future outlook. This nonfiction history will take your breath away as the author crafts a narrative of terror and fear as Mother Nature strikes hard. Sadly, the stories of the lives of the people who lived through this tragedy are real, and death overtook many towns, ripping families apart and leaving a path of complete devastation. Williams shapes his book around the stories that were reported. There was no mass media. There were no warnings. The telegraph was the only means of communication feasible. It rained for four to five days. Damage was in the multi-millions and deaths close to one thousand. According to the author’s notes, “It was a flood of such epic proportions that it forever changed how the United States manages its waterways.” Williams’ magnificent storytelling unfolds in a chronological depiction scattered over multiple towns. It is sobering, compelling history, and yet there are images of amazing survival and hope. Without a doubt this should be considered a must-read for 2013.