Tobacco barn near Amherst, Massachusetts (1938). Public domain /

By Liana Jacob

IN THE WAKE of the devastating hurricane that has struck Florida and the Caribbean in the past week vintage photographs show how America handled the most destructive storm to hit New England exactly 79-years ago.

The calamitous images depict the extreme lengths farmers in Hadley, Massachusetts, had to go to protect their lively stock, while the destructive scenes unfolded around them. Nevertheless 600 people died in the storm and £235 million ($308) of damage was caused, making it among the costliest hurricanes to hit the US midland at that time.

Pine wood lot near North Brookfield, Massachusetts (1938). Public domain /

Other pictures expose the catastrophic damage done to a tobacco barn in Connecticut and the wreckage left behind in a Worcester farm and barn. Another photograph shows the extreme consequences of the hurricane on a chicken house between Worcester and Amherst, Massachusetts.

On September 9, 2017, will be the hurricane’s 79th anniversary. It lasted between September 9 to 23, 1938 and it was considered one of the deadliest and most destructive tropical cyclones to hit Long Island, New York and New England.

Salvaging onions near Hadley, Massachusetts (1938). Public domain /

The storm initially formed near the coast of Africa on September 9, becoming a Category five hurricane, the highest category of the Saffir-Simpson scale.

Approximately 682 people died in the storm, with 600 killed in New England, most in Rhode Island and an additional 708 people were reported injured.

Chicken house near Worcester, Massachusetts (1938). Public domain /

The hurricane hit New York City and western Long Island, Eastern Long Island, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Maryland, Delaware and Quebec.