Friday, March 05, 2021
Miles from the Mainstream
D. R. ZUKERMAN, proprietor

Hiroshima, the Winsted Flood
and John Hersey

September 5, 2020 --

LPR knows what flood devastation can look life, have witnessed the destruction that Hurricanes Carol and Diane caused Winsted, Connecticut on August 19, 1955.

Coincidentally, lately, the media have been reviewing Lesly M.M. Blume's "Fallout," about the 30,000 word article "Hiroshima that John Hersey wrote for The New Yorker, breaking through the government's p.r. effort to hide the extent of the devastation that the atomic bombs wreaked on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, including the lethal effects of radiation sickness. The magazine article was turned into a book. 

The coincidence is in the fact that a month after the Winsted flood, Hersey went to Winsted to chronicle the effects of the hurricanes on Winsted, including the seven lives lost in a small city of 8,000. 

(As LPR has noted several times, he was 15-years old and a senior camper at Camp Wabigoon, located on Smith Hill above Winsted, and August 21, with other campers, walked down to Main Street to see what the hurricanes did to the town, digging a gully from one end of Main Street to the other end, breaking apart buildings, as if they were doll houses,and  that had stood on the Mad River side of Main Street, uplifting cars as though they were toys.)   

In 1963 Hersey published a book, "Here to Stay: Studies in Human Tenacity" that included his accounts of the Winsted flood, Hiroshima and other articles  (LPR will have to go to a Barnes & Noble to see if the Blume book mentions Hersey's later article on the Winsted flood.)