Our annual presentation of the Emmy-winning documentary Wake of ’38 - usually around the September 21 anniversary date - makes an early debut this year, marking the start of the 2020 hurricane season. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration this week released its predictions for the 2020 season – expecting more storm activity than usual between June 1 and November 30. Read the announcement here.
In 1978, WSBE (then “Channel 36” now “Rhode Island PBS”) marked the 40th anniversary of the Great New England Hurricane of 1938 by producing a timeless documentary using archival footage and interviews with survivors.
Winning an Emmy Award for WSBE, Wake of ’38 respectfully covers the impact the destructive storm left on New England coastal communities and gives origin to the scars still visible on downtown Providence buildings today. Even as documentaries go, it is easy to forget while watching the film that this is actual footage captured by real people in real time, recording the events as they happened at the height of the raging winds and pelting rains – in 1938.
Known as a “fan favorite” among viewers, Wake of ’38 airs as part of the ongoing Rhode Island PBS series Rhode Island Stories, a collection of independent documentaries about the people, places, and events with a strong local connection.
Viewers can tune in to watch the documentary Friday, June 12 at 8 p.m., with encores Saturday, June 13 at noon and 11 p.m., and Sunday, June 14 at 7 p.m.
For more content about Wake of ‘38, click here for our comprehensive 75th anniversary blog post from 2013 that includes remarkable photos and links to other stunning galleries.
WSBE Rhode Island PBS transmits over the air on digital 36.1; on Cox 08 / 1008HD, Verizon FiOS 08 / 508HD, Full Channel 08; Comcast 819HD, Verizon FiOS 18 / 518HD; on satellite: DirecTV 36, Dish Network 36. WSBE Learn transmits over the air on digital 36.2; Cox 808, Verizon FiOS 478, Full Channel 989; Comcast 294 or 312.