August Online Book Club for Adults
Join us for online camaraderie at our Zoom meeting of the August Islamorada Library Book Club for adults. This month’s selection: “The Storm of the Century” by Willie Drye. Even if you don’t finish the book, please read what you can and join us anyways for a friendly gathering.
Email library staff member Charlotte Caria at email@example.com for the Zoom meeting ID and password.
Information about “The Storm of the Century” from Amazon:
A gripping chronicle of the most powerful hurricane to ever hit the United States and its devastating aftermath details the fiercest storm of September 1935 from the perspectives of survivors of the storm, Federal Emergency Relief Administration employees, and government officials.
In 1934, hundreds of jobless World War I veterans were sent to the remote Florida Keys to build a highway from Miami to Key West. The Roosevelt Administration was making a genuine effort to help these down-and-out vets, many of whom suffered from what is known today as post-traumatic stress disorder. But the attempt to help them turned into a tragedy. The supervisors in charge of the veterans misunderstood the danger posed by hurricanes in the low-lying Florida Keys. In late August 1935, a small, stealthy tropical storm crossed the Bahamas, causing little damage. When it entered the Straits of Florida, however, it exploded into one of the most powerful hurricanes on record. But US Weather Bureau forecasters could only guess at its exact position, and their calculations were well off the mark. The hurricane that struck the Upper Florida Keys on the evening of September 2, 1935 is still the most powerful hurricane to make landfall in the US. Supervisors waited too long to call for an evacuation train from Miami to move the vets out of harm’s way. The train was slammed by the storm surge soon after it reached Islamorada. Only the 160-ton locomotive was left upright on the tracks. About 400 veterans were left unprotected in flimsy work camps. Around 260 of them were killed. This is their story, with newly discovered photos and stories of some of the heroes of the Labor Day 1935 calamity.
Review From Bryan Norcross, former Weather Channel meteorologist and now hurricane specialist for WPLG-TV in Miami:
“This new release of Storm of the Century: The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 is as gripping as an adventure novel, and as important as any book about hurricanes on my bookshelf.”