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This week in history: Florida’s deadliest hurricane

On Sept. 16, 1928, the storm that came to be known as the Okeechobee hurricane came ashore in central Palm Beach County with winds of at least 145 mph. As the storm crossed Lake Okeechobee, the 20-foot-high storm surge crashed through the low muck along the south and east shores, sweeping water out of Lake Okeechobee and over the towns of Belle Glade, Chosen, Pahokee, South Bay, and Bean City, killing at least 2,500 people.

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This 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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The south shore of Lake Okeechobee after the 1928 hurricane (Photo provided to The Palm Beach Post)

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Scenes of West Palm Beach after the 1928 hurricane, from Palm Beach Hurricane—92 Views, 1928, American Autochrome Company, Chicago, IL. More photos from the autochrome series are available here.

The front pages of The Palm Beach Post from September 1928 describe the horror of the 1928 hurricane. Click on the images below to see larger images and to browse the 1928 newspapers.

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Posted in Flashback blog September 13, 2010 at 6:00 am.

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