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Blown Away: Tornado in a Small Town
     

Blown Away: Tornado in a Small Town

2.0 1
by Richard McHugh
 
Blown Away by Richard H. McHugh gives voice to a terrifying and tragic tornado that happened in Shelburn, Indiana sixty years ago. Beautifully written and excitingly told, Blown Away offers a you-are-there look at the before, during, and after events of this tragedy. From the lead up to the tornado to the actual disaster to the deadly aftereffects, Blown Away is told

Overview

Blown Away by Richard H. McHugh gives voice to a terrifying and tragic tornado that happened in Shelburn, Indiana sixty years ago. Beautifully written and excitingly told, Blown Away offers a you-are-there look at the before, during, and after events of this tragedy. From the lead up to the tornado to the actual disaster to the deadly aftereffects, Blown Away is told in the voices of the people who lived it. A woman describes how her arms were broken because she held her child so tightly. A family watches their tree being jerked up from its roots. All of the stories are exciting, horrifying, and immediate. McHugh relates his experiences as a young ambulance driver at the time, and he shows both the devastation he witnesses and how his community pulls together courageously and with great compassion. The citizens rebuild the town and their lives, but they never forget the tornado-and neither will readers. Filled with photographs and quotations from residents who survived the storm, Blown Away is a wonderful historical document and a fabulous read. Thrilling, enthralling, and beautifully written, Blown Away will blow you away with its authenticity.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
McHugh's (Death Matters, 2009, etc.) fourth book offers a primary historical record of a small town hit by a violent and deadly tornado. McHugh describes 1940s Shelburn, Ind., as a quintessential Midwestern town: a population of roughly 1,250 living in a large geographical area. His detailed chronicle of Shelburn's collective response to a horrific natural disaster drops the reader directly into the struggling community. The author gives a voice to each of those who stepped forward to help their neighbors' battered spirits and properties. McHugh cites a meteorological record of tornado destruction throughout the United States, which contextualizes the severity of the one Shelburn endured. The author, a 19-year-old ambulance driver at the time of the storm, provides a firsthand account of his neighbors' suffering and tenacity with the lens of one accustomed to personal tragedy. McHugh smartly allows the emotions of the story to develop organically in the voices of those he interviewed. While the book may serve as a resource for Shelburn's historical record, as well as a guide to preparing for a tornado, it also encapsulates the fortitude of the residents. Many neighboring communities met Shelburn's need so abundantly the Red Cross no longer accepted food donations just one day after the storm. McHugh reveals these standout facts to provide a reflection of the community's heart. While rebuilding the town was a dynamic undertaking, Shelburn's people did the work without questioning one another's motives or agendas. In the true Midwestern spirit of working together to build and rebuild, McHugh lets his neighbors and friends tell their stories in their own ways. An interesting firsthand account of the physical and emotional recovery of a town.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781456494100
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
12/01/2011
Pages:
100
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.24(d)

Meet the Author

Richard H. McHugh has lived through the events he writes about, including serving as a young ambulance driver during the Shelburn tornado. He graduated from Indiana State University and the Indiana College of Mortuary Science. After honorable discharge from the service, he joined his grandfather and father working at McHugh Funeral Homes. Subsequently taking over the firm at his father's death, he grew the business to two locations and retired after a heart attack. After working in the insurance business, he began to write, publishing three books and winning several awards, including Distinguished Hoosier awarded by the governor of Indiana. A resident of Sullivan, Indiana, he continues to write.

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Blown Away: Tornado in a Small Town 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Being a survivor of the 1949 Shelburn, Indiana tornado, and moving away from Shelburn because our house was destroyed, I was excited to find that someone had actually written a book about it. I was, however, disappointed that the author (Richard McHugh) only discussed perhaps the more prominent people and their losses, leaving other folks out altogether. Mr. McHugh's self description of being an ambulance driver and owner of several funeral homes really had no bearing on the tornado story itself.