Much has been written about the 21 September 1938 Hurricane and its impact on Long Island. The major damage on Long Island was more easterly, beginning about Westhampton and Westhampton Beach and on to Montauk Point. Brookhaven hamlet was on the westerly edge of the hurricane’s landfall on Long Island. While the storm was dramatic in Brookhaven hamlet, there was no loss of life (their was one death in Bellport), and property damage was minimal.
Below is an article in the Patchogue Advance which recounts specific damage in Brookhaven Hamlet.
Sources which provide more on the hurricane’s effects on Long Island may be found here:
- The Long Island Express—the 1938 Hurricane by Scott A. Mandia, Professor – Physical Sciences – Suffolk County Community College.
- The 1938 Hurricane – Wikipedia.com
- Patchogue Advance, 23 September 1938 (page images reporting on the area)
How the Big Storm Damaged Brookhaven In Its Awful Sweep
Patchogue Advance, 23 September 1938, page 5.
Countless trees are down all over the village—some uprooted, and some snapped off at various heights.
George Miller estimates a loss of at least 100 trees including two large evergreens in the family burying ground.
The wind seems to have hit the corner of South Country road and Beaver Dam road with particular force and flattened a whole row of trees on the property of Mrs. James H. Post.
The trees on the property of Herbert Burnett were severely damaged.
Frank Huston reports that the change of wind from the east to west drove a wall of water against their house (at the foot of Hawkins lane) and flooded it to a depth of 22 inches.
The fire department was called to the foot of Bay road during the early part of the storm and took several people from their houses by rowboat. The Grover Bishop family, Mrs. A. C. Bishop, Miss McGovern and other were rescued in this fashion. The William Anderson house on Bay road is said to be badly damaged by water.
George A. Soper house following 1938 Hurricane.
This is a picture of the Soper house (a.k.a. William Brewster Rose house) following the hurricane. According to Sally Soper Neenan, who was age one at the time of the storm, a corner of her bedroom was destroyed.
The roof on the shed of the truck garage on the Walter E. Corrigan property was blown down on top of the trucks. Mrs. Lottie Zukowski’s barn on Montauk highway was blown down.
In comparison to the number of trees down, very few houses or buildings were hit.
Mrs. Alfred Brown was alone at Smith Point beach, it is reported, when her husband and Harold Bohn came to the mainland for supplies. They were unable to return and did not get to her until yesterday morning. The main part of the pavilion was washed away but she took refuge in the western portion.
George A. Soper, Jr. lost almost all his trees—the two evergreens immediately in front of his home and several of the large maples along the footpath.
The chimney was knocked from Jesse E. Johnson’s house.
Beaver Dam road was closed over the creek as the roadbed, with the exception of the concrete paving in the middle, was washed away.
The locust grove on Mrs. Thomas I. Morrow’s is completely destroyed and the oak grove around Louis Blume’s house is in ruins.