1.But, like thousands of others in the coastal communities, John was reluctant to abandon his home unless the family——his wife, Janis, and their seven children, aged 3 to 11——was clearly endangered.
2. The French doors in an upstairs room blew in with an explosive sound, and the group heard gun-like reports as other upstairs windows disintegrated.
3. Frightened, breathless and wet, the group settled on the stairs, which were protected by two interior walls.
4.,Everyone knew, there was no escape; they live or die in the house.
5. A moment later, the hurricane, in one mighty swipe, lifted the entire roof off the house and skimmed it 40 feet through the air.
6. In its concentrated breadth of some 70 miles it shot out winds of nearly 200 mph and raised tides as high as 30 feet.
7. Strips of clothing festooned the standing trees, and the blown-down power lines coiled like black spaghetti over the roads.
8. It could have been depressing, but it wasn't, each salvaged item represented a little victory over the wrath of the storm.