1935 Labor Day hurricane

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Florida East Coast Railway Overseas Railroad relief train derailed near Islamorada, Florida during the 1935 Labor Day hurricane.

The 1935 Labor Day Hurricane was the strongest tropical cyclone of the 1935 Atlantic hurricane season, and one of the most intense hurricanes to make landfall in the United States in recorded history. The second tropical cyclone, second hurricane, and second major hurricane of the season, the Labor Day Hurricane was the first of three Category 5 hurricanes at landfall that the United States endured during the 20th Century (the other two being 1969's Hurricane Camille and 1992's Hurricane Andrew). After forming as a weak tropical storm east of the Bahamas on August 29, it slowly proceeded westward and became a hurricane on September 1. As Labor Day approached, hurricane warnings went up over the Keys. A train was dispatched from Miami to evacuate the Works Progress Administration (WPA) construction workers, consisting almost entirely of Bonus Army veterans and their families, from the ramshackle camps they were living in Windley Key and Lower Matecumbe Key. The train was almost entirely swept away before reaching the camps late on September 2. When it finally arrived in Upper Metecumbe Key only the engine survived the winds and wall of water that swept through the area. The hurricane struck the Upper Keys on Labor Day, Monday, September 2. The storm continued northwest along the Florida west coast, weakening before its second landfall near Cedar Key, Florida on September 4.

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