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PHOTOS: New England Hurricane of ’38 Hits Newport, RI on September 21


Today marks the 79 year anniversary of the New England Hurricane of ’38, one of the deadliest hurricanes in New England history.

The New England Hurricane of 1938 was the first major hurricane to strike New England since 1869.  The tide was even higher than usual because of the autumnal equinox and full moon.

The storm surge hit Westerly, Rhode Island at 3:50 pm EDT, resulting in 100 deaths. Newport recorded the highest water level of the storm at 3.53 meters above mean sea level according to a NOAA study

Images of the aftermath in Newport, Rhode Island from the hurricane in 1938.

Hurricane Damage – Bailey’s Beach – Newport, Rhode Island Aftermath of the Great New England Hurricane of 1938 via TheSaltySailor.com

Images of the aftermath in Newport, Rhode Island from the hurricane in 1938.

“The Complete Historical Record of New England’s Stricken Area, September 21, 1938.” – The Providence Journal

The central portion of the bathing pavilion at Bailey’s Beach transported to the middle of the road. In: The New England Hurricane, Federal Writers’ Project of WPA, 1938. Image ID: wea02417, Historic NWS Collection Location: Bailey’s Beach, Rhode Island Photo Date: 1938 September 22 Photographer: Archival Photography by Steve Nicklas, NOS, NGS

All that remains of a beachfront home at Third Beach. In: The New England Hurricane, Federal Writers’ Project of WPA, 1938. Image ID: wea02416, Historic NWS Collection Location: Near Newport, Rhode Island Photo Date: 1938 September 22 Photographer: Archival Photography by Steve Nicklas, NOS, NGS

The pavilion at Easton’s Beach being burned intentionally prior to beginning cleanup and rebuilding. In: The New England Hurricane, Federal Writers’ Project of WPA, 1938. Image ID: wea02418, Historic NWS Collection Location: Easton’s Beach, Rhode Island Photo Date: 1938 September 22 Photographer: Archival Photography by Steve Nicklas, NOS, NGS

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