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On Good Friday, 1964, Crescent City residents in Northern California were preparing for the Easter weekend. Little did they know, but the worst earthquake in U.S. history was ripping Alaska apart. The 9.2. magnitude quake caused a tsunami that sped across the Paciﬁc faster than a jet liner. The huge waves surged into U.S. coastal cities and aimed straight at the town’s heart. Creating death, destruction, victims, and heroes alike in a short time, nature was on a terrible rampage.
Combining national and regional research with compelling survivor accounts, author Dennis M. Powers has written the ﬁrst book chronicling the tsunami that all but destroyed this coastal town of 3,000 people. The waves damaged or destroyed 289 homes and businesses, ripped apart 30 city blocks, killed eleven people, severely injured scores more, and caused more death and destruction there than all of the combined tsunamis that had previously struck the Continental U.S.
This story is more than about a true, natural disaster, as it also relates the stunning accounts of survivors and heroes alike. Whether imprisoned by debris in a destroyed home being washed out to sea, or surﬁng over the tsunami in a ﬁshing skiff, it recounts the stories of ordinary people who were forced to reach exemplary heights of courage. It is about how the lives of friends and families interlocked, some doomed to die, others to live by these capricious seas – and then how the town rose from the ashes of destruction to face a new, risky future.
"Reminds us that tragedy often brings out the best in people."
– Tillie Drye, author of Storm of the Century
"A must-read because nature is capable of a repeat performance."
– Rob Mundle, author of Fatal Storm