Sandy wasn’t the first; some of New York’s hurricane history by Ashley Duchemin
Sandy left 43 dead in New York City alone and thousands of others without homes or power. But it hasn’t been the only hurricane to devastate the City.

Did you know about these storms?

The Long Island Express September 1938 was a category 3 hurricane with wind gust of 125mph that killed hundreds of people. The hurricane’s eye crossed over Long Island and into New England killing about 200 people. It also blacked out Bronx and Manhattan north of 59th St and disabled the sailing of Queen Mary.

Hurricane Donna in 1960 had an 11-ft storm tide that damaged piers and resulted in major flooding. The storm disrupted the subway service and commuter rail lines. It knocked out the power to The National Weather Bureau’s office in New York City leaving it’s meteorologists unable to monitor their instruments on the 32nd floor.

In 2011, Hurricane Irene touched down in New York City as a tropical storm with 70 mph winds. City officials ordered the first mandatory evacuation of coastal areas in the city. 370,000 residents evacuated in zone A and the Rockaway Peninsula. The city sheltered 10,000 evacuees.


How about these close calls?

  • In 1955, Hurricane Connie and Diane come close to making landfall in New York City.
  • In 1985, Hurricane Gloria would have been catastrophic if it hit landfall closer to high tide.
  • In 1995, Hurricane Felix lingered for days outside of New York.
  • On Labor Day 1996, Hurricane Edouard veered out to see after tracking toward New York City.
  • In 1996, Hurricane Bertha touched down on Long Island as a tropical storm.
Photo courtesy of Edward Jewett from the collection of Camila Jewett.

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