The enormity of Texas's many major disasters are an appropriate match for the state's large size. This is an area of the country where tornadoes are a frequent threat, but in addition to the many violent twisters, residents have experienced fires, floods, drought, blizzards, shipwrecks, and other devastating events, including a yellow fever epidemic in 1867, which earned that year the grim moniker "The Year of Death."
Twenty dramatic true stories are retold in this well-researched collection, including:
>The deadly quarter-mile-wide tornado that roared through the town of Goliad in 1902, killing 114 people, injuring 230, and demolishing 150 structures.
>A 1937 natural gas explosion at a school in New London, which blew the whole building into the air and killed 298 students and teachers.
>A 15-foot wall of water that in 1965 swept down the canyon in the West Texas railroad town of Sanderson, killing whole families but uniting the racially divided town in rescue efforts.
>The 1947 explosion of the SS Grandcamp, a French vessel docked in Texas City and laden with ammonium nitrate, which had caught fire and later ignited another ship carrying the same cargo. The two blasts killed 576 people, injured thousands more, and jarred residents of Houston 40 miles to the north.