[131] Overall, individual contributions to the Red Cross reached almost $5.9 million, while the organization itself spent about $50,000 on relief efforts. [120] Throughout Polk County, 10% of oranges and about 50% of grapefruit were lost, respectively, with the vast majority of groves losing 60% to 75% of grapefruit. Plans for construction of a memorial began. The 1928 hurricane might have accounted for the most deaths of black people in a single day in U.S. history, again, before Katrina. One man was shot for refusing to do so. The Red Cross estimated the number of fatalities at 1,836, which was taken as the official count by the National Weather Service for many years (and exactly equal to the official count for Hurricane Katrina). Traversing the Atlantic Ocean, the cyclone struck the Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico, and the Bahamas as a powerful hurricane. [32] The hurricane caused two fatalities in the city. [34] One death occurred in Boca Raton. A number of residents boarded up their homes and then secured their ornamental trees and plants. [14] The Seminoles at the Brighton Seminole Indian Reservation in Glades County evacuated to higher ground after observing retreating wildlife. "[48] Skylights at the county courthouse shattered, flooding the Criminal Court of Record rooms. Its roof was torn off and blown into nearby houses. In Guadeloupe, about 1,200 people were killed, and in Puerto Rico where the storm hit directly at peak strength, three hundred died and hundreds of thousands were left homeless. The storm caused around 1,200 deaths in Guadeloupe and major property damage. [11] In Miami to the south of the center, winds reached 78 mph (126 km/h),[21] and farther south, Key West reported winds of only 39 mph (63 km/h). [3] Prior to the 1928 hurricane, Lake Okeechobee was surrounded by a mud dike averaging 4 ft (1.2 m) in height. [149] A rumor circulated, which even garnered sympathy from Governor Martin, that a black man named Levi Brown was eating ham in a mess tent and was struck in the head and shoulder with an ax by a Red Cross worker, told him "ham was not for niggers." [27] The structures not suffering any damage floated away. The next day, a ship reported winds of 60 mph (95 km/h), or tropical storm status; on this basis, the Atlantic hurricane reanalysis project estimated that the system attained tropical storm status late on September 6. On September 6, ships reported a tropical depression developing just off the west coast of Africa near Dakar, Senegal. The 1900 Galveston hurricane in Texas was the worst, killing more than 10,000 people. The Battle of Okeechobee won’t be re-enacted this year, due to concerns about COVID-19 virus transmission where large groups of people gather. Finally, the town was flooded severely during the storm and was subsequently abandoned. Several additional buildings were demolished,[27] including a sporting goods store,[46] St. Andrew's Episcopal Church,[27] and First Presbyterian Church. [116] The storm left one death in Orange City. In December 2000, the city of West Palm Beach purchased the land back for $180,000. An estimated 2,500 Floridians lost their lives as a result of the Okeechobee Hurricane in 1928. Total damages from the storm amounted to $100 million (1928 USD) across the Caribbean and the US. [5] Since 1924, the Florida Legislature attempted to secure authorization and funding for flood control around Lake Okeechobee. The city was severely affected, as were the other communities to the south of the lake, by the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane. The storm, which hit North Carolina as a Category 2 before making its way up to New England, led to the third largest evacuation in U.S. history. Overall, 210 doctors and 78 nurses worked in the disaster area, each accumulating more than 50 hours of service. 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