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The Destruction of the 1921 Hurricane: The Storm that Changed Everything

To many people, the 1921 hurricane is a reminder of the destruction a storm can cause. The storm originated in the Caribbean sea and developed into a hurricane on October 21, 1921. It was slipping between Cuba and Yucatan Peninsula during the following days, then going east towards Florida. By the time it got to Florida, it was category three, reaching 100 miles per hour.

The major systems of the 1921 Hurricane

According to news reporters of those times, the storm that led to the hurricane surged up to 11 feet. The winds were estimated to be moving at a maximum speed of 120 mph. The 1921 hurricane took place in five unique central systems;

Hurricane one

Hurricane one was a category one hurricane, and it took place between June 16 and June 26. It began at the Western side of the Caribbean Sea on June 16 and developed into a significant tropical depression. The depression continued for a few more days and ceased at the northern side of Missouri on June 26.

Hurricane two

Hurricane two was classified as category one and had an intensity of 130 km/h and 985 hPa. It started at the Bay of Campeche as an area of disturbed weather developed into a tropical depression. This depression moved towards the northwest and became of low intensity and stopped on September 6.

Hurricane three

Hurricane three, also known as the San Pedro hurricane, took place on September 6; a tropical storm took place 800km east of Trinidad Island. It weakened to category one hurricane on September 11 and soon became an extratropical cyclone about 500 km east of Newfoundland.

Hurricane four

This hurricane took place between September 8 and September 14. Its peak intensity was reported to be 150 km/h and 979 mbar (hPa). It originated in an area found 480 km north of Lesser Antilles. On September 14, the tropical storm was absorbed by a more significant extratropical cyclone.

Hurricane five

Hurricane five was a Category 4 in intensity and took place between October 20 and October 29. Its peak intensity was 220 km/h and 941 mbar. It started as a tropical storm in the southwestern Caribbean Sea on October 20. The storm was absorbed by a giant extratropical cyclone the next day, and the remnants of the hurricane became indistinguishable.

Aerial view of tropical Caribbean bay with white sand beach and beautiful turquoise sea

The Destruction of the 1921 Hurricane in Tampa Bay

The 1921 Hurricane hit Tampa Bay 100 years ago and was the most destructive hurricane to hit the area since 1848. It was a Category 3 hurricane accompanied by heavy winds that caused a lot of damage in the Tampa bay area. Among the most affected areas was Tarpon Springs, where the storm destroyed houses, washed away roads, damaged boats, railroads, and even piers. Additionally, it destroyed the hotels and beach cottages. However, no deaths were reported in the area.

Another area that was greatly affected within Tampa bay was the city of Oldsmar which is found in the northwest area of Tampa Bay. The storm that hit this area leading to massive destruction, was estimated to be 6 feet deep. Though no one was reported dead in this area, many houses were demolished, and other homes were covered by water up to 5 feet, leaving many people homeless. Many people lost their livestock, such as cows and goats, as they had no means of protecting them. The most affected regions were those at the bay, such as Palmetto Beach, Edgewater Park, Edgewater Park, and the Hendry Knight Channel.

The Destruction of the 1921 Hurricane in Cortex

Cortez is one of the largest towns in Southwest Florida. Though warnings to prepare for the hurricane were given worldwide, they did not help the Cortex residence that much as there was just one radio in the village. The entire town was flooded within a few days of the occurrence of the 1921 hurricane. Many people in the area used boats to run away from their homes and headed towards Bradenton and others to Cortez Rural Graded School, referred to as Florida Maritime Museum. These areas acted as shelters from the storm as they had high elevations and were found away from the dock.

From reports, no one in the Cortez area was spared from the damages that the 1921 hurricane caused. Joe Guthrie, the owner of Albion Inn, is reported to have lost the most property. He lost many stores, fish houses, and even docks. The famous M.F Brown experienced about $15,000 damages as he lost his store and homes. Though the people of Cortez encountered a lot of property loss, there was no loss of life reported as a result of the hurricane. 

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