In Providence, Layden's father came to pick her up in his car. She saw a large pane of glass pop out of a furniture storefront, whole, and roll up the street, shattering as it went. Downtown was submerged. And the trolley car horns shorted.

"The sound of the horns through the water," Layden says in the documentary, "was the most eerie thing you ever heard in your life."

The looting began later. And the authorities could do little to stop it.

Farms were destroyed across the region. Some 275 million trees felled. In Rhode Island, which got the worst of it, 380 people died.

The Moores, though, were not among them. They had floated all way across Narragansett Bay to safety. Anne and Catherine's mother later wrote a letter to her brother, quoted in Hurricane of '38.

"I sometimes feel that we have had a preview of the end of the world," she wrote. "For some, it was the end. It might easily have been we."

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