Hurricane of 1938

Hurricane 1938 Somerville Smashed Car

This week we were spared the worst of Hurricane Florence’s destruction, but 80 years ago on September 21, the 1938 hurricane known as the Long Island Express walloped New England with 100+ mph winds, killing more than 700 and leaving more than $300 million in damage (in 1938 dollars).

Here in Somerville, the damage was estimated to be $1 million. According to the Somerville Journal, the storm hit around the 5pm rush hour, injuring a dozen people, uprooting thousands of trees, and wrecking countless homes. The roof of St. Joseph’s Church collapsed, three babies were delivered by flashlight, and the Journal went to press by candlelight and floodlight!

Check out our new album of snapshots captured the day after the storm in Lincoln Park and Clark Street by an unknown Somerville citizen here:

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