CATASTROPHE: Abyss from the Indies

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In swank Southampton to the east, ranks of expensive cabanas were devoured by the sea, mansions along the dunes buffeted and flooded by titanic waves. Streets, lined with ancient elms that were Southampton's pride, looked like the Argonne of 1918. East Hampton, still further east, and Amagansett, were in worse case. More than four in every ten of their stately elms crashed. The sea rushed up and over the dunes to lash even at the Maidstone Country Club on its high bluff, obliterating the golf course and 50 prize flower gardens. Rich summer colonists and poor fisher folk suffered alike. Falling trees crushed the Maidstone Hotel. The Bridgehampton freight station was shunted smack across the tracks.

Out toward naked Montauk Point, the 190-ft. Mackay Radio tower at Napeague was flung to earth. Fishing craft were splintered, fishermen's shacks blown to flinders. Refugees huddled marooned in the brick-walled Montauk Manor on high ground. On Long Island's northerly finger the hurricane from the south made shambles of the shipyards of Greenport, unroofed a full movie theatre.

On the other side of the vortex, at Long Island's western end, the violence came from the north and northwest. From Huntington to Manhassett Bay on the north shore, the Long Island Sound waterfront was smashed in. On the south shore, buildings at Jones Beach were blown toward the sea instead of back into the bays. Torrential floods halted traffic and, like most of Suffolk County to the east, 95% of Nassau County (pop. 303,000) was in darkness. Brooklyn and New York City, catching the fringe of winds which registered 120 m. p. h. in some gusts, were flooded and stalled. Lights went out for an hour, subways halted, when the Hellgate powerhouse was flooded by storm tide. The Staten Island ferryboat Knickerbocker was caught by the wind in her slip, jammed into an iron bumper rail at an angle that drove her 200 passengers near to panic before two tugs managed to work her loose.

Across the Sound. Whistling and whining across Long Island Sound, the big wind hit New England with increased fury. (Harvard observatory at Blue Hill, Mass. registered gusts of 186 m. p. h.) At Bridgeport, New Haven and New London, the storm waves hurled shipping into the streets and across railroad tracks. The crack Bostonian express train had to nose a house out of its way as it crawled, half-submerged, to safety, dragging telephone poles by their fallen wires, leaving all but one car behind in a washout. A capsized naval training ship started a fire in New London that consumed an entire city block. Mrs. Helen E. Lewis, Republican nominee for Connecticut Secretary of State, was drowned with her husband when their island cottage at Stony Creek was swept away.

At Watch Hill, Westerly and Charlestown, R. I. loss of life was heavy. Scores of people who took refuge in the highest dunes were swept away by mountainous seas which carved a new coastline. Well Rock lighthouse at Point Judith was hammered down. So was Prudence Island lighthouse, killing the tender's wife and son. Charlestown was wiped out. Seven school children were drowned in a bus on Jamestown Island.

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