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- Hurricane Donna Photos
- By Jerry Wilkinson
Hurricane Donna was a category
4 hurricane comparable to Hurricane Andrew in 1992. The copy from the
Weather Service charts below shows that Donna was a typical September
originating far out in the Atlantic, traveling northwestwardly and
northward. To read more about the anatomy of a hurricane, Click
HERE, and use the "back arrow" to return to this point.
A hurricane alert
(now a watch)
was issued on September 7 and changed to a "warning" on September 8 at
11 a.m. It had not yet started the steeper part of the recurve;
the hurricane followed more or less the predicted path. The media
that about 50 percent of the Middle and Upper Keys residents evacuated.
The "eye" passed over Duck Key at about 2 a.m. of September 10, an
Saturday morning. The weekly Keynoter newspaper (from whom
of the photos were obtained) went daily.
In the Upper Keys
kitchens were set up at the Matecumbe Methodist church by local
and Hugh MacKenzie's hotel be the Red Cross.
The photos below graphically
show that Category 4 hurricanes are extremely serious and evacuation is
the only sensible thing to do.
The area was originally the Angus Boatwright fish camp
and Elsie Masterton operated the Blueberry Hill. The restaurant, like
others businesses then, only operated in the winter season. MM 78
The damaged dock leading out to the Blueberry Hill
An aerial view looking about east. Bud and Mary's
across the highway on the Atlantic side. MM 79.
Looking about north at Ev Fowler's place (Papa Joe's
bridge and waterline wash-out. MM 79
Another view of the wash-out.
Establishing travel to the Middle and Lower Keys was of
Sections of the transportable Bailey bridge being put in
Through traffic and potable water established. MM 79
The memorial was built by the WPA in 1937. The Matecumbe
Church was completed shortly thereafter. MM 81.5
Formerly the Smith-Richardson estate, it was remodeled
Mae Downey as the Olney Inn and shown here destroyed. It was then sold
to the Twichell's who built the Cheeca Lodge. MM-81.6.
Built by Earl Krebs in 1958. Tidal surge was 7.5 feet.
was up to the door knobs in the downstair's apartments. In Hurricanes
and Irene seaweed was washed up about halld way onto the yard. MM
Reportedly about six people sought refuge in lighthouse
the hurricane. The Inn had been open for one year. MM 83.5
Another view of the Chesapeake Inn. There were many
boats washed ashore as the one in the background.
"Augie" Cockerham' garage at about MM 80.5 bayside.
Augie and his wife, Helen, built their home to the rear and right of
the garage - center right in the above photo about six months
before the hurricane. The roof was damaged and the house half full of
seaweed. Augie's son, Max, whose wife was named "Donna," built Max's
the highway in 1970.
Wilma and Ernest Poucher's original grocery at about MM
to today's Ace Hardware, 2001). They rebuilt the Town Site grocery.
The 150 foot tanker loaded with water as ballast was
at the Charles Dean home on Plantation Key. KWC 09-19-60.
Another view of the Inagua Arrow. It took weeks to build
to tow the ship into deep water.
Roland Craig, founder of Craig Key in the 1930s, finally
gave up his mini empire after Donna. He leased
the side of the railroad at about MM 72 in 1931, then the Overseas
in 1938 and even fared the 1935 Hurricane.
- Unroofed luxury apartments at about MM 54.
- The waterline previously hung beneath the 1955 built
Vaca Cut bridge
and several piles were broken when a large barge smashed against the
- Ruined contents brought outside after the hurricane.
- The Navy and the Red Cross served about 62,000 free
meals in the American
Legion building at Marathon.
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