Aquidneck Island has been subjected to a number of devastating hurricanes since colonial days. Over 70 people heard Town Historian Jim Garman talk about what it was like in the aftermath of the ‘38 and ‘54 hurricanes on the 85th anniversary of the 1938 hurricane. This lecture included numerous photographs showing the serious damage done to the Island by these two storms.
In 1938, all of New England was struck by one of the deadliest hurricanes in its history. On 21 September, the storm, after crossing Long Island, came ashore near New Haven CT. It spread significant damage over all of New England. Winds of 115 mph reached land. At least 600 people died in New England, including 18 in Island Park. Property damage was in the millions.
In 1954, another hurricane hit southern New England. “Hurricane Carol” came ashore along the RI/CT border causing the loss of several thousand homes and 72 deaths. The vulnerability of Aquidneck Island and devastation of these storms are reflected in many photographs taken at the time.