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10 Destructive Hurricanes in Recent Times


4
The Great Labor Day Storm: September 1935
How hurricanes form depends on a combination of warm water, moist air and converging equatorial winds.
How hurricanes form depends on a combination of warm water, moist air and converging equatorial winds.
Photo courtesy NOAA

In little more than 24 hours, this storm went from a category 1 to a category 5, where it remained when it struck the Florida Keys, making it the first hurricane of such intensity to strike the United States. With wind speeds reaching 200 miles per hour and a 15-foot storm surge, this cataclysmic hurricane caused $6 million in damages. Of the more than 420 people killed in the storm, about 260 of them were World War I veterans who were in the region building bridges as part of President Roosevelt's New Deal. The flimsy camps that housed the veterans were no match for this wicked storm, and the train sent to rescue them was blown off the tracks.