The 1938 Atlantic Hurricane – The Long Island Express


• 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 (