Southern FL The "Labor Day Hurricane," Sept 1935

Mass Burial of Hurricane Victims Cremation of the bodies, Southern Florida Hurricane

Some Vets Away.
The FERA headquarters said it was not known exactly how many veterans were in the camps when the storm struck, but that there were housing accommodations for about 683. Some of them, however, were away at the time.
The veterans were engaged in a FERA project of building an overseas highway linking Key West with the Florida mainland. Some of them were among the bonus seekers who marched on Washington several years ago. They came from all sections of the country.
Co-operating with coast guard, Red Cross and other relief agencies, the Pan-American Airways turned over a number of its airplanes for relief work. A complete radio station was flown to one of the lower keys and set up to establish contact with the affected areas. Four Miami doctors were flown into the stricken section to aid the injured.
Red Cross Leader.
Intercepted on his way to Kansas City for a speaking engagement, DR. WILLIAM DE KLEINE, medical director of the National Red Cross, entrained from St. Louis late today for the storm-swept area of Florida. He said the National Red Cross has 11 rescue and two hospital units in that area.
Trucks loaded with medical supplies, food and clothing supplied by the REd Cross, national guard and volunteer groups, rumbled southward from here on errands of mercy to the injured and those left homeless by the storm's fury.
Pres. Roosevelt personally ordered all available federal forces to render aid and coast guard ships were dispatched to act as hospital bases in the isolated keys.
Confronting the rescue workers was the grewsome task of removing to Miami the bodies of all those who perished on the keys, some of which are reachable now only by boat since highways and railroad beds were washed out.
Some rescuers reported bodies could be seen pinned under the wreckage of their homes and others were strewn out about in the open. Belief was expressed that some of the bodies may have been washed out to sea by the high tidal wave that struck the keys.
Heartrending Scenes.
Scenes of death, misery and destruction greeted the eyes of those who journeyed today to the rugged keys to lend a helping hand to the hurricane victims.
Houses and other buildings were crushed like matchwood and strewn about the countryside by the wind's fury. Highways were flooded and bridges and railroad tracks were washed away, completely isolating many of the keys.
To some of the islands, boats were the only means of communication and going was rough and hazardous. Heavy seas still were pounding and the weather was damp and dismal.



1935 Labor Day Hurricane

This was a horrific event that the Keys will always remember. You can read more about this disaster at