Labor Day Hurricane of 1935

Relief train wreckage in Islamorada

Relief train wreckage in Islamorada

The Labor Day Hurricane, a large hurricane hits the Florida Keys killing 423. The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 was the strongest tropical cyclone during the 1935 Atlantic hurricane season.

The second tropical cyclone, second hurricane, and second intense hurricane of the season was the most intense Atlantic hurricane that affected the United States, and it was the first of three Category 5 hurricanes that struck the country in the 20th century.

After forming as a weak tropical storm east of the Bahamas on August 29, it slowly proceeded westward, became a hurricane on September 1, and underwent rapid intensification prior to striking the upper Florida Keys on September 2.

The compact and intense hurricane caused extreme damage in the upper Florida Keys, and a storm surge of approximately 18 to 20 feet affected the region. The hurricane’s strong winds destroyed most of the buildings in the Islamorada area, and many World War I veteran workers were killed by the storm surge. Portions of the Key West Extension of the Florida East Coast Railroad were severely damaged or destroyed. The hurricane also caused additional damage in northwest Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas. In total, more than 400 people were killed.

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