Friday, September 10, 2010

Killer Hurricane Donna struck in 1960

Vintage report about Hurricane Donna from WTVJ, anchored by pioneer television journalist Ralph Renick. There are three parts to this report.

Fifty years ago today Hurricane Donna struck the Florida Keys, crossed the state and roared northward along the eastern coast of the United States, leaving death and destruction in its path. Some 364 deaths were blamed on the storm and damage was put at $900 million in 1960 dollars. Today that would be $6.6 billion.

Hurricane Donna holds the record for retaining major hurricane status for nine days. It was a Category 4 storm when it made landfall at Marathon, where a storm surge of 13 feet was reported.

The storm continued into the Gulf of Mexico and shifted northward, making a second Florida landfall between Naples and Fort Myers. It roared north through the citrus belt  and back into the Atlantic at near Daytona Beach.

It continued up the coast, striking coastal North Carolina and eventually Long Island.

It had formed as a tropical depression in the vicinity of the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa on Aug. 29. It weakened and dissipated 17 days later on Sept. 14.

The Naples Daily News has a photo gallery of images from Hurricane Donna that were submitted by readers. The South Florida Sun Sentinel also marked the anniversary of Deadly Donna. Read a report from the archives of the Fort Lauderdale News about the storm.

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