One of the great tragedies of the Labor Day storm was the death of hundreds of World War I veterans who were building the Overseas Railroad as part of the New Deal’s WPA program. This was just a few years after General Douglas MaCarthur had authorized an attack on the bonus army in Washington DC. Many of those veterans who protested ended up in WPA programs and some were tragically killed in this storm.
The loss of life from this storm was entirely preventable but unfortunately the Weather Bureau in Jacksonville was late issuing warnings for the storm because of the holiday weekend and the train that was to rescue workers on the WPA project left Miami several hours late.
The storm surpasses Hurricane Camile, the 1969 Gulf Coast storm whose center hit almost at the exact same location as Katrina would in 2005. But Camile was tight, powerful killer which hardly impacted New Orleans but ravaged the Mississippi coast. The storm also killed over a hundred people in small rural county in Virginia (Nelson County) when flash flood hit that area in the mountains.
Hurricane Andrew which hit South Dade County in 1992 remains the third strongest US storm on record.