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Hurricane Elena was an unpredictable and damaging tropical cyclone that affected the United States Gulf Coast in late August and early September 1985. Threatening popular tourist destinations during Labor Day weekend, Elena repeatedly defied forecasts, triggering an unprecedented series of evacuations; many residents and tourists were forced to leave twice in a matter of days. Elena's slow movement off western Florida resulted in severe beach erosion and damage to coastal buildings, roads, and seawalls. The hurricane devastated the Apalachicola Bay shellfish industry, killing off vast oyster beds and leaving thousands of workers unemployed. Farther west, Dauphin Island in Alabama endured wind gusts as high as 130 mph (210 km/h) and a significant storm surge. In Mississippi, over 13,000 homes were damaged and 200 were entirely destroyed. Overall, nine people died as a result of the hurricane: three in Florida, two in Louisiana, one in Arkansas, two in Texas from rip currents, and one in a maritime accident. Damage totaled about $1.3 billion, and power outages from the storm affected 550,000 homes and businesses. (Full article...)
A hemmema was a type of warship built for the Swedish archipelago fleet and the Russian Baltic Navy in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It was designed by Swedish naval architect Fredrik Henrik af Chapman in collaboration with Augustin Ehrensvärd, commander of the archipelago fleet. The hemmema was a specialized vessel for use in the shallow waters and narrow passages that surround the thousands of islands and islets extending from the Swedish capital of Stockholm into the Gulf of Finland. It replaced the galley as a coastal warship since it had better crew accommodations, was more seaworthy and heavily outgunned even the largest galleys. It could be propelled by either sails or oars but was still smaller and more maneuverable than most sailing warships, which made it suitable for operations in the confined waters. The 12 hemmemas that were built served on both sides of the Russo-Swedish War of 1788–90 and the Finnish War of 1808–09. (Full article...)