Most people with even a passing interest in the history of New England have heard of the 1938 hurricane that decimated the coast and killed hundreds, but it had never even occurred to me to wonder what effect it had had on New York. Hurricanes do not usually manage to hit New England without impacting NYC and Long Island, of course, but I never made the connection, not even when I spent two days thinking about New York being hit by a hurricane in 1938.
New York papers from the day after the Long Island Express hit were substantially more alarming than from the day after the 1893 storm. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle headline proclaimed "19 Die, 39 Missing in L.I. Hurricane."
|22 September 1938|
These focus mostly on New England, but give you a good idea of what the storm held for New York, particularly for the eastern end of Long Island, where it's power was most devastatingly felt.
Perhaps the most haunting part of the Eagle's coverage is the list of the dead, the missing, and the injured. Even a brief reading of the articles, though, shows that the list, and the count, far understate the actual damage. For example, left off the list are the 25 children who were attending a party at the home of Mrs. Norvin Greene in Westhampton Beach, none of whom had been seen since the storm. (The Greenes and their guests were later discovered to have survived.) (Murray, Around Westhampton.)
Below is the list of dead and missing:
|The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 22 September 1938|