Saturday September 17, 2005

The hurricane of 1926

It’s September 26th, the aniversary of the big 1926 hurricane that gave the first big popluation of Florida a taste of some tropical juice. It’s strange to think about this in the wake of Katrina, the strongest storm for as long as we’ve been keeping track, the most destructive since we’ve been giving them names . . . but 1926 is before all of that; this hurricane was just called “The Big One.” Nobody knows exacly how strong it was, but the Miami River rose by nearly 12 feet, damage reached $115 million, and more than 240 people died (most of them because they went out in the calm of the eye and got trapped). That’s $115 million in damage out of what little there was down here back then. But what there was, it pretty much destroyed.

Naturally, FPL was just as pleased with their own response then as they have been more lately. Martha Melahn reminices in the Herald:

Storms bring a lot of strange happenings because of vacuums. A strong wind passing over any object produces a vacuum in its holes and hollows. I left a car near the bay with the windows tightly closed during one storm. Afterward, it was found half filled with seaweed and small dead fish that apparently had been sucked in through gaps in the floorboards.

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  1. onajide    Mon Sep 19, 03:29 PM #  

    I read this the other day but, I still keep thinking about the hurricane of 1928. That’s the one Zora Neale Hurston talks about in her book “Their Eyes Were Watching God.” Last year I visited the mass grave in Port Mayaca. It was a chilly reminder of what can happen during a hurricane.

  2. Miami Harold    Mon Sep 19, 04:25 PM #  

    Les Sandiford’s book, “Last Train To Paradise”
    recounts the 1935 hurricane,
    which pounded Flagler’s railroad into sawdust and iron filings.
    Maybe the worst storm ever:
    winds were estimated at 200 mph
    and the surge submerged entire islands.
    Had he been around back then,
    it would have blown Brian Norcross’s panties
    right off his little pink bunsies.
    Mass devastation in the keys,
    and a wardrobe malfunction to boot!

  3. alesh    Mon Sep 19, 10:37 PM #  

    Huh. Les was my teacher for one semester of a creative writing class when I was going to FIU. Nice guy. How about some Critical Miami book reviews?