The storm destroyed
Henry Flagler's railroad that connected Key West to the mainland
and is said to have cleared every tree and every building off Matecumbe
Those who perished
in the storm included 259 World War I veterans living in three Civilian
Conservation Corps camps while they worked constructing the Overseas
Highway. A train sent to rescue them from the storm arrived too
late and many died on board when it was swept off its track by the
Hemingway visited the Keys after the storm and wrote a scathing
magazine article critical of those rescue efforts titled, "Who
Killed the Vets?"
Damage in the
United States was estimated at $6 million.
at the center of a hurricane was measured at 892 millibars. Normally,
atmospheric pressure at sea level averages about 1,013 millibars.
The only other
category 5 hurricane to strike the U.S. coast was Camille, which
hit Mississippi in August 1969. Camille's central pressure was 909
third. Classified as a category 4 storm, Andrew's central pressure
measured 922 millibars.
This 1935 storm
was first detected east of the central Bahamas on August 29. Moving
westward, it passed near Andros Island on September 1, at which
time it reached hurricane strength and turned west-northwestward.
then occurred, and when the storm reached the middle Florida Keys
on September 2, it was a Category 5 hurricane.
through the Keys, the hurricane turned gradually northward almost
parallel to the Florida west coast until it again made landfall
near Cedar Key as a Category 2 hurricane on the 4th.
motion took the storm across the southeastern United States to the
Atlantic coast near Norfolk, VA on September 6. It continued into
the Atlantic, becoming extratropical on the 7th and last being detected
on the 10th.
including a Catholic priest, a rabbi and a prostestant minister,
hold a funeral ceremony on Matecumbe Key prior to cremating the
victims by setting fire to the wooden caskets. (Florida
Photographic Collection, State Archives)
The boxes being burned
are makeshift caskets, containing victims' bodies. Over 350 veterans
were thus cremated on the banks of Snake Creek, between Islamorada
and Tavernier. (Florida Photographic Collection, State
Locomotive 447 was the
only thing left standing in Islamorada. Here it is pictured several
(Florida Photographic Collection, State Archives)