In October 1866, a powerful Category 4 hurricane struck the Bahamian Islands. With winds well over 140 miles per hour and even higher gusts that toppled trees, sank ships, peeled away rooftops, and destroyed vital infrastructures, the massive storm battered the islands with great ferocity. When the seas finally calmed and the winds died down, the massive storm had killed more than 387 people in the Bahamas alone and left a massive trail of destruction.
Author Wayne Neely, a leading authority on Bahamian and Caribbean hurricanes, shares an engaging account of how the hurricane of 1866 not only devastated the islands, but also altered the course of Bahamian history forever. While demonstrating how the hurricane significantly impacted the wrecking and salvaging industry, Neely also educates others about the complex set of weather conditions that contribute to hurricanes. He includes fascinating stories of survival and heroism as the storm's victims struggled to move forward in the midst of tragedy.
Hurricanes are no novelty to the Bahamas, but all who were lucky enough to live through the howling winds and the terror of a sky filled with flying debris surely never forgot The Great Bahamas Hurricane of 1866.