• The 1938 Atlantic Hurricane – The Long Island Express

    Updated:

    • Still considered one of the worst disasters in North American history.

    • Developed on Sept. 4, 1938. Came ashore Sept. 21 at Long Island.

    • Estimated to be a Category 5 hurricane; made landfall in New England as a Category 3.

    • Sustained winds of 121 mph with peak gusts of 186 mph measured by Blue Hill Observatory in Massachusetts.

    • 25-foot high storm surges wiped out entire communities.

    • Storm killed 688 people and injured 4,500.

    • Damaged or destroyed up to 75,000 buildings.

    • 2,600 boats destroyed; 3,300 damaged.

    • Ranked as worst natural disaster in recorded history for New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

    • Storm resulted in widespread power outages, some for several weeks.

    • In Connecticut, downed power lines resulted in catastrophic fires to sections of New London and Mystic.

    • Sections of Falmouth and New Bedford, Mass., were submerged under as much as 8 feet of water.

    • The Connecticut River, in Hartford, reached a level of 35.4 feet, which was 19.4 feet above flood stage.

    Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (noaa.gov)

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