Alas, Atlas III
Three quarters of a million people discovered a new backyard between 1992
and 1995. They had moved to Florida, which, since the publication of the
last Florida Atlas, is in the throes of continuing urbanization. Any newcomer,
or any Florida old-timers for that matter, should find this newest edition
(the third since 1981) a good way to discover the newest Florida before
it morphs into something else again.
Atlas of Florida.
Edward A. Fernald, Elizabeth D. Purdum, eds., James R. Anderson, Peter A. Krafft, cartographers.
280 pages. Gainesville: U. Press of Florida.
This Floridiana compendium, produced
by FSUs Institute of Science and Public Affairs, offers stunning photos
and illustrations of Americas fourth fastest growing state. As were its
predecessors, this edition is another pleasant reference tool, with chapter
headings that are deceiving, for each is a lengthy almanac of its own.
Outside the regular chapters, the
Atlas includes a sure-to-please index on the origins of Floridas place
names. Where else can you discover that Floridas rich native linguistic
connection provided the words for six of the states 87 counties (Alachua,
Okaloosa; Okeechobee; Sarasota; Suwannee, and Wakulla)? Their definitions
link us to the aboriginal peoples affinity with water, in contrast to
the historic tags given many counties in honor of Spanish, French or British
explorers, or Catholic saints.
No one in Florida can escape the
annual hurricane season, Floridas most dangerous natural hazard. During
this century over 3,000 inhabitants of the state lost their lives during
these intense tropical storms, almost 2,000 in one hurricane alone, one
reads. Thus, the storm tide-zone illustrations and evacuation times in
the given scenario of a Category Three hurricane become relevant. The longest
estimated evacuation times, by-the-way, are in Key West and in the Tampa
Bay, Ft. Myers, Ft. Pierce, and Pensacola areas.
One of the added topics covers Hurricane
Andrew and includes a composite radar image of this Category Four storm
in 1992. Until Andrew, South Florida had been spared from hurricanes for
nearly 20 years. That monstrous event did a substantial revision of Dade
County demographics all its own. --Madeleine Carr