In the roaring 20's the U.S was experiencing its biggest economic boom ever and people wanted more, they wanted the sun and warmth of the tropics. So they left the cold and unforgiving north to settle in sunny South Florida, the new American riviera. Paradise however comes with just one little downside...hurricanes.
In 1926 at the height of the land boom, South Florida was hit by the mother of all hurricanes, "The Great Miami" hurricane( hurricanes were not named until 1953) an enormous beast of a storm that made landfall in South Beach. It destroyed everything in its path, catastrophic winds of 135 mph that lashed at the sea, trees and whatever building was left standing relentlessly for 18 agonizing hours. Over 500 deaths, many of them coming as Hialeah residents ( who had never seen a hurricane before) left their houses to inspect the damage as the eye of the storm passed overhead and never realized that they were inside a giant vortex and that a fast approaching deadly wall of wind was on the other side. To this day, the costliest hurricane ever recorded in the U.S, adjusted for inflation the damages were $190 billion, Andrew by comparison caused $65 billion in damages.
The damage was devastating, thousands were homeless and several looting riots broke out. Hialeah took a nearly catastrophic direct hit from the eye of the storm, around 70% of all structures were flattened and the population dropped from 20K to just 2K in a year.
The University of Miami opened days after the hurricane hit and that's why they nicknamed their sports teams "The hurricanes" to honor the catastrophe. #hialeah ⛈