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16 Unsettling Facts About New York City And Hurricanes

Get ready for Hurricane Sandy aka the Frankenstorm with these facts. Uh oh.

1. Reportedly, winds from the 1938 "Long Island Express" Hurricane made the Empire State Building sway.

2. According to New York City's Office of Emergency Management, the last hurricane to pass directly over the city was in 1821. The storm surge was so high that the city was flooded up to Canal Street.

3. Both New York airports are located next to bodies of water making them extremely vulnerable to hurricanes. / Via

In 1960, La Guardia Airport was flooded during Tropical Storm Brenda.

4. A category 2 storm could put JFK airport under 5 feet of water.

5. The last major hurricane to make direct landfall on New York City was in 1893, 118 years ago.

6. Statistically, a hurricane makes a direct hit on New York City every 75 years. This means we're long overdue for one.


7. An entire island near Queens washed away after a hurricane in 1893.


Hog Island, a one mile long island south of Rockaway Beach, was never after the Hurricane Of 1893 hit.

8. Hog Island's disappearance is apparently the only reported incidence of an island being completely washed away.

9. If a category-3 hurricane ever directly hits New York City, the Holland and Battery Tunnels could fill with sea water.

10. The 1938 Long Island Express destroyed hundreds of trees and killed thousands of birds in Central Park. Immigrant children collected the birds to sell the restaurants.


11. The 1938 also completely decimated the city's communication system.


It basically left New York cut off from the entire world because so many of the city's telegraph lines were torn down.

12. Katharine Hepburn nearly died in the 1938 Long Island Express Hurricane.


She lost about 95% of her personal belongings including an Oscar she won in 1932. The Oscar was later found.

13. The Great September Gale Of 1815 (the word hurricane wasn't used back then) was the first major hurricane to impact New England in 180 years. The storm was so powerful that it rained salt water.


I realize this isn't in New York City, but it's still an interesting fact nonetheless.

14. New York City is the 2nd worst city in the US that could be hit by a hurricane.

15. Hurricane Irene cost the city $55 million and as many New Yorkers know, it wasn't even that bad.

16. There is a 90% probability that NYC/Long Island will be hit by a major hurricane (category 3 or more) in the next 50 years.

Update: This post has been updated to meet our attribution standards.