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Tuesday, June 6, 2023 - 7:00 pm

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The Hurricane of 1938: The Science and The Stories

On September 21, 1938, a massive hurricane tore through New England leaving in its path a shocking swath of destruction and lost lives. The Hepburn family’s original cottage in Fenwick, a borough of Old Saybrook, was completely destroyed and washed away. Katharine Hepburn included an account of that day and the loss of the family home in her autobiography, Me: Stories of My Life. This special program will explore the impact of the storm from inception to landfall. NBC 30 Chief Meteorologist Ryan Hanrahan will present the science of the storm and its path toward New England; Chris Wisniewski, author of The Hurricane of 1938: Memories of the Storm of the Century, shares memories from survivors; and writer Tom Verde speaks of his family’s tragic loss. Questions from the audience will be entertained following the presentations. 

This program is presented by Risk Strategies – Gowrie Group.

Tickets are valid for either in-person attendance or a live stream option.

This program is FREE to Kate Enthusiasts. Non-Kate Enthusiasts may purchase tickets via the BUY TICKETS link and ALL ticketholders will receive the live stream link by email. Learn about how you can become a Kate Enthusiast here.

Ryan Hanrahan is Chief Meteorologist and can be seen weekdays during the 4 p.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts on NBC Connecticut. Growing up along the shoreline in Guilford, his interest in the weather was sparked by the 1989 Hamden tornado, hurricanes Gloria and Bob, and the blizzards of '93 and '96. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in meteorology from the Pennsylvania State University. Ryan also studied atmospheric science in graduate school at the State University of New York at Albany. His weathercasts have been recognized by the American Meteorological Society with their Seal of Approval. In 2016 he was awarded an Emmy for his forecasts. During his tenure at NBC Connecticut Ryan has covered many of the state's biggest storms including Tropical Storm Irene, Hurricane Sandy, the October snowstorm, the Blizzard of 2013 and the May 2018 tornado outbreak across Connecticut.

Chris Wisniewski is a personal historian and owner of Saving Stories. Chris works to help individuals, families, businesses, and non-profits preserve their stories and memories. Chris is originally from Preston, Connecticut, a small town outside of Norwich. She has always been fascinated with the rich history of the area and is excited to be able to preserve these first-hand accounts of the 1938 hurricane.

Tom Verde is an award-winning journalist and author who specializes in Islam, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean studies, early Christian history, comparative religion, food history, and travel. He has lived and traveled widely in the Middle East and Africa and written extensively on religion, culture, the environment, and travel in major national and international publications.  Tom’s work has appeared in The New York Times, Politico, The Boston Globe, AramcoWorld and on National Public Radio. A native of Providence, he now lives in Pawcatuck, CT.