With Hurricane Irma’s potentially devastating impact on Southwest Florida predicted to begin today, it’s safe to say those of us who live here will always remember Sept. 10 as the day Irma came to town.
That date, however, has an additional meaning to longtime Florida residents. On Sept. 10, 1960, Hurricane Donna initially made landfall as a Category 4 storm near Marathon packing 130 mph winds before making a second Florida landfall just south of Naples at the same intensity.
The only storm to bring hurricane force winds to Florida, the Mid-Atlantic and New England, Donna ravaged nearly the entire Sunshine State, before it re-emerged in the Atlantic Ocean and made several more landfalls. Donna was a Category 3 by the time it landed in North Carolina, and the storm stayed at that strength before making landfall again on Long Island.
Donna caused storm surges of 11 feet in the Fort Myers area, according to National Hurricane Center records, and inflicted $387 million in damages.