August 1963

Reactions to a Disaster

Author Affiliations


Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1963;9(2):157-162. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1963.01720140053008

At approximately five o'clock on the evening of Oct 12, 1962, an extratropical cyclone of unprecedented violence struck Oregon with disastrous results. Winds were not measured at their highest velocities since the ananometers were carried away. However, the winds were estimated by the weather bureau at 104 mph with gusts up to 116 mph. One television tower, built to withstand over 100-mile-an-hour winds was destroyed, while a radar station constructed on a mountain top to withstand 130-mile-an-hour winds was crushed. At Portland, Ore, the wind started in the late afternoon reaching gale force at 5:28 pm, and continuing on to a crescendo in the early evening, finally subsiding to 30 miles per hour at 10 pm. Forty-six lives were lost with "more property damage in 24 hours than the average yearly damage inflicted on the entire United States from hurricanes, tornadoes, thunderstorms, and hail combined."3 The total

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