Pensacola, FL Hurricane Strike, Sept 1906

1906 Pensacola Hurricane Damage 1906 Pensacola Hurricane Damage

The city of Pensacola suffered the most severe damage caused by the [1906 Hurricane]. Several tugboats, vessels, fishing boats, and other watercraft were tossed along the shore of the city. Large numbers of trees were uprooted and the roofs of houses were torn off. At its highest, the storm surge of the hurricane was 8.5 feet (2.6 m) above the normal tide, the highest recorded in the city at the time. The city's waterfront was completely flooded, along with some houses near the waterfront. Muscogee wharf was partially destroyed, broken into two pieces. On either side of the wharf, railroad tracks had been washed away. A total of 39 freight cars carrying coal were also washed away. In addition, the grain elevator of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad was destroyed during the hurricane. A timber boom was demolished during the hurricane, leaving wood and debris on the beach.

Along Intendencia Street, several cottages were flooded; in some areas, the floodwaters were 10 feet (3.0 m) deep. The southern end of West Main Street was completely inundated and was swept away. There was devastation between Barcelona and Perdido streets, with several boats wrecked. Between Palafox Street and Wright Street, many houses' roofs were torn away. Rail service in and out of Pensacola was severely affected; one train arrived several hours later than scheduled, and it was said that it had to stop "every few yards" in order to remove trees and debris covering the track. Between Magnolia Bluff and Milton, the track was destroyed and the Escambia Bridge was partially demolished. The fishing industry of Pensacola was estimated to have suffered at least $500,000 in damage. Many wharfs had been completely destroyed during the hurricane. Electricity was shut off during the hurricane.

Fort Barrancas, Fort Pickens, and Fort McRee suffered severe damage. At Forts Pickens and Barrancas, damage was estimated to be around $10,000. In the Bayou Grande area of Pensacola, the tide was estimated to be about 12 feet (3.7 m) above normal. At the intersection of Cedar and Baylen streets, oyster boats, steam tugs, wood, and other debris were scattered. A boat identified as the Wolverine was tossed into a lot near the corner. Trees and chimneys were blown down, and a tin roof was peeled off a house as a result of strong winds. On the 26th port, one bark was completely destroyed, while another eleven were tossed around. A schooner that sank during the hurricane was tipped over. At the 38th port, 29 schooners were thrown ashore, and another sixteen were completely destroyed. Only eight of the 36 lumber barges floated, while three of eight tugs were floating, and of those three of them were wrecked. Other debris was scattered around the city, including pieces of shattered glass. A fire occurred at a hotel in Pensacola.

At the navy yard of Pensacola, all but three boats—the Isle de Luzon and two "water boats"—were either sunk or thrown ashore. A steel dock owned by Spain was untouched, but areas surrounding it were littered with debris. In the towns of Wosley and Warrington, waterfronts were severely damaged and some houses washed away. At Pensacola Bay, the tide was 10 feet (3.0 m) high; at East Bay, the tide was measured at 9 feet (2.7 m); at St. Andrews Bay, the tide was 6 feet (1.8 m) high; and at Apalachicola Bay, the tide was 5 feet (1.5 m) high. The damage caused in the city totaled to at least $2,620,000, while the damage within the vicinity of the city amounted to more than $1,230,000. The total damage caused within Pensacola and the surrounding areas totaled to greater than $3,850,000. The hurricane was considered the worst in the city in 170 years. However, there was widespread praise by residents and newspapers for the Weather Bureau for tracking the hurricane and issuing storm warnings three days before the storm made landfall. A total of 35 people were killed in Pensacola.