The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 was the first ever Category Five Hurricane on record to hit the United States. The compact and intense hurricane caused extreme damage in the upper Florida Keys, as a storm surge of approximately 18 to 20 feet affected the region. The hurricane's strong winds destroyed most of the buildings in the Islamorada area, and many World War I veteran workers were killed by the storm surge. Portions of the Key West Extension of the Florida East Coast Railroad were severely damaged or destroyed. The evacuation train, which left Homestead was filled with veterans and 100s of other locals from the keys came to a sudden halt. When it reached the Islamorada water tank the 10 cars were tossed off the track and over on their sides by powerful waves that were now surging over the islands. The engine alone remained on its wheels, but it ceased to move because the fire in the box was out. The hurricane also caused additional damage in northwest Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas. In total, more than 400 people were killed.
Hurricane Easy Easy hit Florida in September of 1950 and produced the scariest weather for a 24-hour period in this section of the Gulf Coast. Easy hit Cedar Key on Sept. 5 as Category 3 storm and looped back out to sea before hitting Cedar Key again, which caused the town to face the same side of the storm twice and experience the eye for 2 1/2 hours. Following the loop, Easy headed back out to the Gulf briefly in a southeasterly direction before hitting land again at Hernando Beach and heading northeast across the state toward Jacksonville.The hurricane produced 100 mph winds in Cedar Key for 9 1/2 hour! Because of its unusual trek and low barometric pressure (28.30 inches), Easy caused some unusual occurrences. Cedar Key experienced 24.5 inches of rain in a three-day period, while Yankeetown took on 38.7 inches of rain in 24 hours, a record amount for the U.S. at the time.The low barometric pressure was also blamed for mysterious blisters forming on cars following the storm. Apparently the low pressure caused air pockets to form under layers of paint.
Cedar Key lost its entire fishing fleet of more than 100 boats. Ninety percent of its buildings were damaged and 150 homes lost their roofs. Miraculously, no one in Cedar key was killed by the storm.
St. Augustine. It was the first hurricane to strike north of Stuart on the East Coast of Florida since 1880. While the subsequent 10-foot storm surge and 125 mph winds severely damaged the St. Augustine area, it was the back end of Dora that caught the attention of Citrus County residents and emergency personnel on Sept. 10, 1964. Pushed along by 60 mph winds, a high tide, 6 feet above normal, rolled in, flooding the Gulf Coast from Citrus County to the Panhandle.