Looking Back At The Great Hurricane Of 1938

BOSTON (CBS) – This weekend marks the 75th anniversary of one of the most destructive and powerful storms to ever strike New England. It’s been called a lot of names: The Great New England Hurricane of 1938, Yankee Clipper, Long Island Express, or simply The Great Hurricane of 1938.

It was a storm which accelerated up the east coast, and made landfall on Long Island as a Category 3 Hurricane on September 21st, 1938. It came with the destructive power of a storm surge which was felt along the entire south coast from Connecticut, to Narragansett & Buzzards Bay leaving thousands of homes and buildings submerged underwater or completely destroyed. 75 years later, it remains the most powerful and deadliest hurricane in recent New England history.

“It was entirely unexpected…it came as a shock and came suddenly,” remembers Jerry Joyce.

At Fuller Village in Milton, the memories are still fresh on the minds of those who weathered this historic storm 75 years ago. “It left such a terrible impression it was very frightening to see that sort of force,” Says Dorothy May.

The Hurricane force winds swept across the landscape snapping trees like toothpicks with peak gusts recorded at the Blue Hill Weather Observatory. During that time, sustained winds of 121 mph blew for five minutes, with had a peak gust of 186 mph. This mighty wind blew over billions of trees across the region. Over 35% of New England’s total forest area was affected. In all, it is estimate over 2.7 billion trees fell because of the storm.

Rhode Island was hit very hard from the storm. The storm surge hit Westerly at 3:50 pm, resulting in 100 deaths there alone. The tide was even higher …read more

Source: CBS local Boston


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