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Hurricane-force winds kill 21 in Western Washington on October 21, 1934.
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On October 21, 1934, a windstorm with gusts of up to 83 m.p.h. strikes Western Washington, where 21 people are killed and more than 100 are injured. Three ships are wrecked. It is the largest storm recorded in the region to date.
The weather station in Tacoma recorded winds of up to 83 mph. In Seattle, winds gusted to 70 m.p.h. At Port Townsend, gusts reached 83 mph and the purse seiner Agnes from Ballard sank with five men lost. A downed power line electrocuted a married couple in Tacoma. A wall of the Alki Hotel in Seattle collapsed, killing a man. Other people were killed by falling trees and by drowning.
The trans-Pacific passenger ship S.S. President Madison was docked at Pier 41 in Seattle when it broke its moorings. The larger ship smashed into the sternwheeler Harvester, which sank. The President Madison went on to damage the freighter North Haven and several smaller vessels. At Boeing Field, a hangar collapsed on four airplanes. The Seattle City-County Building lost $700 worth of windows and the roof of a Studebaker agency collapsed onto new automobiles.
Forrest Williams, "Ravaging 1934 Storm Recalled," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, October 13, 1962, p. 2; "Another Gale Coming; 21 Die in Storm Sunday," The Seattle Star, October 22, 1934, pp. 1-4.
Note: The original version of this essay dated the hurricane on October 31. That incorrect date was based on a typographical error in the 1962 news story. This essay was corrected and revised on September 24, 2004.
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