Hurricanes have long been a fact of life in the Bahamas. With extensive exposed coastlines jutting out of the Atlantic and uniquely flat lands and shallow coastal waters, these islands had seen many tempests before there was a Bahamas as we know it today.
Hurricanes have shaped the islands' landscape and, in a sense, their people as well. In the history of the Bahamas-often considered a patriarchal society in which the hurricanes traditionally bore the names not of women, but of the islands they devastated-- the storms have impacted all aspects of everyday life. A growing number of studies covering many aspects of hurricanes have examined their social impacts. Even so, the historical ramifi cati ons of the hurricanes of the Bahamas and of the wider realm of the Caribbean have rarely been approached.
The Great Bahamas Hurricane of 1899 and the Great Abaco Hurricane of 1932 hold special places in the archives of Bahamian history. These hurricanes were two of the worst natural disasters the country had experienced at the time, and even to this day these storms are considered among the top ten most destructive Bahamian storms of all time. These two notable and very destructive Bahamian hurricanes resulted in the deaths of over 334 Bahamians in 1899 and 18 in 1932. Learn why as author Wayne Neely explores the breadth and depth of each disaster-not only how they impacted the society at the time, but how they impacted the progression of history.