The eye of the storm passed over Long Key and Lower Matecumbe Key during the evening of September 2 and exhibited the most awesome storm effects imaginable. The eye lasted about fifty-five minutes at Long Key and about forty minutes at Lower Matecumbe. The storm's forward speed was only about 10 mph, but its apparent small eye was surrounded by horrendously superdestructive winds. The winds were higher than survivors could describe. All wind instruments were destroyed, expert engineering analysis of the damage indicated that gusts were in the range of 150-200 mph at storm center. Estimates are that winds could have been as high as 250 mph. Eyewitness reports and observations provide evidence to support the estimates of wind velocity.
The hurricane's intensity was indicated by the extremely low measurements in barometric pressure. Barometers in the Keys recorded readings under 27.00 inches, which seemed impossible to weather experts in other parts of the country. On Upper Matecumbe Key the lowest reading of pressure was 26.55 inches, and at Long Key it reached a low of 26.98 inches at 10:20 p.m., before the barometer was blown away in the storm. During the hurricane, estimates are that in the Keys there was a pressure difference of one inch in only six miles. Pressure gradients of this magnitude are normally exceeded only in tornadoes.
Most people in this area built "hurricane houses," which are small but sturdy, built on high ground to act as safe havens during the storm season. Families took their most important belongings, their pets, and a couple of days' rations to these shelters when hurricanes were predicted to hit. But in 1935, the storm was like no hurricane ever experienced, and the hurricane houses did not stand up to the winds and tides that came with it. Many families lost everything they owned in the raging flood when their hurricane shelters buckled in the of 200 mph winds and high water. The roar of the wind and the blackness of the night is said to have been disrupted at times by an eerie illumination ... and winds blew sand granules into the air, creating static electricity causing strange flashes in the sky.
An eighteen-foot memorial, dedicated in 1937, was built on top of a
mass crypt that contains the bones and cremated remains of the many people
who died on Matecumbe Keys. Inscribed on a bronze plaque on the monument
is: "Dedicated to the memory of the civilians and war veterans whose lives
were lost in the hurricane of September second, 1935."
These are the 10 deadliesthurricanes in the United States, according to records kept since 1900. Damages are adjusted to 1990 dollars based on U.S. Department of Commerce construction cost indexes.
The National Weather Service began routinely using female names for hurricanes in 1953. In 1979 men's name were added. Category numbers are assigned according to the Saffir/Simpson hurricane scale, based on wind speeds within the storm.
|7. Hurricane in New England||1938||3||$3,593,853,000|
The 10 most intense hurricanes in the united States based on recorded pressure at time of landfall, according to records kept since 1900. The lower the pressure, the more intense the hurricane.
|Pressure in inches/In millibars
|1. Florida Keys||1935||5||26.35/892|
|4. Florida Keys and S. Texas||1919||4||27.37/927|
|5. Lake Okeechobee, Fla.||1928||4||27.43/929|
|7. Galveston, Texas||1990||4||27.49/931|
|7. Grand Isle, La.||1909||4||27.49/931|
|7. New Orleans, La.,||1915||4||27.49/931|
|9. Miami, Fla.||1926||4||27.61/935|
These are the 10 deadliest hurricanes in the United States listing the numbers of deaths.
|1. Galveston, Texas||1900||4||6,000|
|2. Lake Okeechobee, Fla.||1928||4||1,836|
|3. Florida Keys and S. Texas||1919||4||600|
|4. New England||1938||3||600|
|5. Florida Keys||1935||5||408|
|7. Northeast Coast||1944||3||390|
|8. Grande Isle, La.||1909||4||350|
|9. New Orleans, La.||1915||4||275|
|10. Galveston, Texas||1915||4||275|
As hurricane forecasting has improved, fewer human lives have been lost. But property damages keep going up as the economy levels and prices get higher.
YEAR 2000, HURRICANE SEASON
HURRICANES - 1999
GREATDREAMS GENERAL NEWS
GREATDREAMS MAIN INDEX