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Hurricanes of History



Hurricanes of History
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.13

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    carib, Hurakan, Hurican, dating, detection, destruction, destructive, billion, writing, surge, powerful, highly, geologists, minimum, southeastern, particularly
     content words:    Carib Indians, National Weather Service, Army Signal Corps, United States, Saffir-Simpson Scale, Category One, Category Five, Labor Day, North Pacific, Pacific Ocean


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Hurricanes of History
By Jane Runyon
  

1     Hurricanes are powerful and destructive storms. Scientists have only been studying the effects and causes of hurricanes for the last hundred years or so. They have found evidence of hurricanes dating back thousands of years. Geologists studying a lake in Alabama discovered a layer of rock at the bottom of the lake. They found that the rock had been deposited there by a hurricane more than 3,000 years before.
 
2     The first hurricanes recorded by man can be found in picture writing by the Mayans. The Mayans built their cities away from the coast to avoid the damage brought by powerful storms. They named these storms "Hurakan" after one of their gods. This particular god created dry land by blowing his breath across the sea. Carib Indians later changed the name to "Hurican."
 
3     The National Weather Service was created in 1870. Data concerning weather conditions throughout the country were telegraphed to Washington, D.C., twice a day by members of the Army Signal Corps. The ability to track large storms like hurricanes was not available at this time. When a hurricane hit an area, it was a complete surprise. That is the reason that a hurricane that struck the Texas coast near Galveston in 1900 is the deadliest storm to occur in United States history. Estimates at the time set the number of deaths somewhere between 6,000 and 12,000. There was no way to know for sure.

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