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Sept. 16, 1928: Florida’s deadliest hurricane roars through Palm Beach County

“It woke up old Okeechobee, and the monster began to roll in his bed,” wrote Zora Neale Hurston in Their Eyes Were Watching God.

The storm of 1928 came ashore in central Palm Beach County with winds of at least 145 mph. Then it did what most people don’t think about when it comes to hurricanes: It brought death inland. As the storm crossed Lake Okeechobee, the 20-foot-high storm surge crashed through the low muck along the south and east shores. When it finally turned northeast and away, at least 2,500 people had been killed. Some were never found.

Over the years, on the anniversary of the 1928 storm Eliot Kleinberg has featured stories about the storm in his Post Time column:

‘Everything Pointed Toward a Bad Wind’ recalls weathering the storm in downtown West Palm Beach.

1928 Hurricane Inspiration For Songs looks into the history of the song “Somebody Got Drowned.”

Memoir Recalls 1928 Hurricane and 1928 Storm Nearly Killed Family recount stories from a boy who lived at the north end of Lake Okeechobee.

We invite you to share your own stories and memories in the comments below.

Read more about the 1928 hurricane at PalmBeachPost.com and see The Hurricane of 1928 documentary produced by The Education Network right here on HistoricPalmBeach.com.

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This undated file photo taken in the aftermath of the 1928 hurricane shows the damage done to a cluster of Everglades scientific work stations in Belle Glade. (Photo courtesy of the University of Florida)

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Posted in Flashback blog September 18, 2009 at 9:20 am.

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