Taking the news pulse of Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts, by Providence Journal and projo.com staff, from 7 to 7, every business day
PROVIDENCE -- At the entrance of The Providence Journal building on Fountain Street, a plaque memorializes the high-water mark after the Hurricane of 1938. It hits this reporter -- who stands 5-feet, 4-inches -- just below the shoulder.
The sea surged 15 to 20 feet during the storm, according to Jeff Donnelly, a scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. And witnesses reported seeing waves as high as 30 feet along the coast.
The group will meet in the lobby of the Biltmore Hotel in Providence at 10 a.m. to talk about the dangers of hurricanes and the importance of preparation, including flood insurance, which only about 4 percent of Rhode Islanders have, according to a statement from the governor's office.
The event is part of Get Hurricane Ready Rhode Island, a campaign launched in July, one month into hurricane season, which begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30.
High-water markers also will be placed in the Island Park section of Portsmouth, at the Towers at Narragansett, and in Jamestown, where one of the more memorable tragedies occurred.
A school bus driving across a causeway at the head of Mackerel Cove was broadsided by a wave -- eight of the students aboard drowned.
More than 300 people were killed in the hurricane of 1938. There are two months left in hurricane season, which, itself is only an approximation. The event aims at ensuring that the next hurricane, no matter how high the water rises, does not do nearly as much damage.