francis magilligan

The hurricane of 1938 was a disaster – would it be more of a disaster today?

From the Concord Monitor (


Frank Magilligan of Dartmouth can help you picture it: “Imagine a bigger, windier, slower-moving Irene.”

You remember Hurricane Irene, which moved up the Connecticut River valley in late August of 2011 after doing damage along the Eastern Seaboard.

Even though it had been downgraded to a tropical form by the time it arrived, Irene rampaged through Vermont, killing six people, cutting off all access to 13 separate communities, and causing tens of millions of dollars worth of damage to build ings, roads and the power system, some of which was not fully repaired for years.

New Hampshire was much less affected because of the way hurricanes work. Since hurricanes change as they interact with the jet stream in the Northeast, and produce much more rainfall on the western side of the storm – in Irene’s case, on the Vermont side. Almost all of the damage was caused by flooding rather than high winds.