The Hurricane of 1938 began its rise on Saturday, September 17. This day brought about a range of .20” to .60” of rain that were triggered by moisture in the warm air. Sunday, September 18 continued with downpours of rain due to a cold front lighting up the warm air. Mineola’s rainfall for that day alone measured 3.10”. Monday, September 19 was no different with rain continuing and flooding basements, streets, sewers and more. The rain continued into Tuesday, September 20 where the day ended with floods and a pressure system ready to force the hurricane right onto Long Island.
Hurricane Day arrives on Wednesday, September 20 and no alerts are given to Long Island, even though computations map that it will be right on the dangerous Eastern side of the hurricane. On Long Island the day goes on with the temperatures higher than usual and not dropping below the upper 60s and no rainfall. By 1PM, the weather had taken a turn for the worst with the hurricanes outer effects had officially reached long island bringing about strong winds and heavy rain. As the hurricane progressed, the conditions worsened for Long Island and its residents. Conditions like landfall, tidal waves, flooding, and extreme winds destroyed parts of Long Island. Gusts were said to have exceeded 130 mph and actually wiped out the weather towers tracking the storms activity. Houses were swept away by tidal waves, especially on eastern Long Island. Death tolls on Long Island have risen over 50, with 28 deaths in Westhampton alone.
Brickner, Roger K. The Long Island Express: Tracking the Hurricane of 1938. Hogdins Printing Co., Inc., 1988, New York.
“Damage Caused by Storm.” The Great Hurricane of 1938, The Long Island Express, www2.sunysuffolk.edu/mandias/38hurricane/damage_caused.html.