Storm of the Century

The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 (Revised Edition)

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Pub Date 01 Aug 2019 | Archive Date 03 Nov 2020

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Description

In 1934, in the middle of the Great Depression, hundreds of jobless WWI veterans were sent to the remote Florida Keys on a government work program to build a highway from Miami to Key West. The Roosevelt Administration was making a genuine effort to help these down-and-out vets, many of whom suffered from what is known today as post-traumatic stress disorder. But the attempt to help them turned into a tragedy. 


The supervisors in charge of the veterans misunderstood the danger posed by hurricanes in the low-lying Florida Keys. In late August 1935, a small stealthy tropical storm crossed the Bahamas, causing little damage. When it entered the Straits of Florida, however, it exploded into one of the most powerful hurricanes on record. At that time, the U.S. Weather Bureau forecasters could only make an educated guess at its exact position, and their calculations tragically ended up being off the mark.


The hurricane that struck the Upper Florida Keys on the evening of September 2, 1935, is still the most powerful hurricane to make landfall in the United States. Supervisors waited too long to call for an evacuation train from Miami to move the vets out of harm’s way. The train was slammed by the storm surge and winds exceeding 180 mph soon after it reached Islamorada. Only the 160-ton locomotive was left upright on the tracks. About 400 veterans were left unprotected in flimsy work camps and approximately 260 of them were killed. This book is their story, revised and expanded with new information and stories of some of the heroes of the Labor Day 1935 calamity.


In 1934, in the middle of the Great Depression, hundreds of jobless WWI veterans were sent to the remote Florida Keys on a government work program to build a highway from Miami to Key West. The...


A Note From the Publisher

The 2020 hurricane season (which runs June-November) is projected by meteorologists to be a very rough one. As of early August, nine named storms have formed—the earliest date on record that that many storms have formed. The research and experience of journalist and author Willie Drye is like none other.

The 2020 hurricane season (which runs June-November) is projected by meteorologists to be a very rough one. As of early August, nine named storms have formed—the earliest date on record that that...


Advance Praise

"A scenario similar to the 1935 hurricane is one of my biggest fears as a forecaster today. This is a haunting and very possible scenario in coastal areas that have seen exponential growth since this monster. Willie Drye's book relives that 1935 horror and reminds us how breathtaking and unforgiving paradise can be." - Jim Cantore, The Weather Channel


"A big reward here is finding writing which at every turn is vivid and significant. This book places you atop a high roaring wave and will not let you down until the last page." - Clyde Edgerton, New York Times bestselling author and winner of five New York Times Notable Book of the Year awards


"This new release of Storm of the Century: The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 is as gripping as an adventure novel, and as important as any book about hurricanes on my bookshelf." - Bryan Norcross, Weather Channel meteorologist and now hurricane specialist for WPLG-TV in Miami


"Willie Drye's excellent and remarkably detailed book brings the reader directly into the eye of the storm, where he follows a host of dramatic stories for survival. The story and lessons of the 1935 hurricane are important to learn, since a warming climate promises to make such maximum-strength hurricanes more common at a time when the coastal population is surging.” - Jeff Masters, former meteorological director for The Weather Underground


“The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, the most intense hurricane ever to have struck the U.S., also served, as with most natural cataclysms, as a stage upon which human frailty and magnificence both played out. Its story is here wonderfully told by Willie Drye, a reporter with decades of experience and a real knack for exploring the human dimensions of a natural disaster.”- Kerry Emanuel, PhD, Professor of Atmospheric Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; member, National Academy of Sciences; member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences; named one of the 100 most influential people by Time magazine in 2006


"A scenario similar to the 1935 hurricane is one of my biggest fears as a forecaster today. This is a haunting and very possible scenario in coastal areas that have seen exponential growth since this...


Marketing Plan

Professional book publicity campaign throughout hurricane season

Professional book publicity campaign throughout hurricane season


Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9781493037971
PRICE $21.95 (USD)

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