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Sandy vs. the Long Island Express

Back in 1938, the Shoreline was devastated by a hurricane that swept houses off the Thimbles and destroyed much property. What do you know about the hurricane of '38, and how does it compare to Sandy?

Back in 1938, there was no system for detecting hurricanes before they hit. It was before hurricanes and tropical storms were assigned names. Though it has since been called things like the Yankee Clipper and the Long Island Express, when that storm hit, it was a complete surprise.

After waiting out Sandy and the return of power to Branford, I started thinking about the great hurricane of 1938 and wondering how the two storms compared -- not just in terms of wind speed and flooding, but also in terms of damage, costs, and just how long it took the electricity to come back on back then. There are full books written on the storm -- many of which are available at the James Blackstone Memorial Library -- and while I'm combing through them, I'm hoping that our intrepid Patch readers will come up with those details in the comments yet again.

I'm excited to see what you come up with!

What do you know -- or remember -- about the hurricane of 1938?

Bill Keane November 11, 2012 at 12:26 PM
The "Long Island Express" had a forward movement of 50mph and wind gusts approaching 200mph.
Karen True November 11, 2012 at 12:32 PM
My mother, Anna Yasevac Belmonte, told me that Hammer Field was so badly flooded that people were getting through in rowboats! Also, what we used to call the MIF bridge, the underpass by the Meadow Restaurant (the Eel Pot, owned by the Yasevacs), and roadway on Indian Neck Ave. by the bridge were all under water.
Alana Joli Abbott November 17, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Karen, that MIF bridge is one place I *always* expect to flood -- but I can't imagine it completely underwater! Wow, what a storm!
Alana Joli Abbott November 17, 2012 at 07:40 PM
The more I read about the speed of the 1938 storm, the more terrifying it is to me. One of my sources said that Junger, who wrote The Perfect Storm, said that the subject of his book paled in comparison to the hurricane of 1938!

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