Isaac’s Storm (2000) is not Larson’s best book.
BUT it’s still worth reading if only to learn the history of weather forecasting. If you think it’s bad now, imagine how little they knew in the 1800s.
The people of Galveston had no warning. Few people evacuated to the mainland.
When it happened, the weather service mostly went into ass covering mode.
The 1900 Galveston hurricane was the deadliest natural disaster in United States history and the fifth-deadliest Atlantic hurricane, only behind Hurricane Mitch overall. The hurricane left between 6,000 and 12,000 fatalities in the United States …
In 1915, a storm similar in strength and track to the 1900 hurricane struck Galveston … but only 53 died mainly due to a 10 mile long seawall that had been built after the first disaster.
The book tells the story from the point of view of Isaac Monroe Cline (October 13, 1861 – August 3, 1955), chief meteorologist at the Galveston, Texas office of the U.S. Weather Bureau, now known as the National Weather Service, from 1889 to 1901.
But I never got interested in his personal life, nor the rivalry with his brother, Joseph.