Where you really wouldn’t want to be during a violent tropical storm

In October 1947, Fort Lauderdale was hit by what the local newspapers called ‘a freakish tropical disturbance’ which brought torrential rains to South Florida. It also gave some airline passengers the ride of their life.

Damage by the wind was minor – gusts were only up to about 75 miles per hour – but the flooding was felt by almost everyone. Streets flooded and residents took to their rooftops to await rescue. Flood waters were up to six feet deep.

Meanwhile, A DC-4 airliner had left Havana after receiving faulty information – they were under the impression that a flight to South Florida was perfectly safe and wouldn’t be affected. The crew believed that the storm would have passed but they found themselves virtually in the eye of the hurricane.

At least seven passengers simply passed out due to sheer terror. Others sweated visibly. All prayed. Passengers said that the plane was tossed about ‘like a feather’ in the storm. The aircraft was blown upwards due to air blasts and then it would lurch down, falling from the skies. This was all to the accompaniment of lightening and at one point, a ball of St Elmo’s fire was seen across a wing.

The cabin door flew open, showing the pilots battling the controls. They located Miami airport but then the heavy rains just blanked it from sight. This happened over and over. In desperation the pilots headed to Nassau where they were able to land the plane. In the early morning of the next day the plane took off again for Miami.

After an uneventful flight it arrived at Miami and the passengers were told that a landing gear signal was showing that one wheel would not operate. Cabin staff gave them crash instructions as the plane circled the airport for over an hour.

The passengers braced for the crash as the plane descended to attempt a landing. The runway was flooded with over a foot of water. The landing was smooth and trouble-free. The landing gear signal was giving incorrect information due to an electrical short during the wild hurricane ride on the previous evening. Phew.

Posted by Las Olas Boulevard in : History News,

  • Sunny, Waterfront Mid-Century Gem

    Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States
    Set midway between Fort Lauderdale Beach and the fabulous Las Olas Boulevard, this quiet and secluded complex is right on the waterfront and enjoys charming Mid-Century Modern features. Fully moder...
    Short Term Rentals in Fort Lauderdale

    Las Olas Boulevard - there's no other place quite like it. Las Olas offers you the very best in dining, antiques, shopping, fashion, the arts, history and much more.

    Las Olas Boulevard is located just seconds from the beautiful Fort Lauderdale beach and enjoys the wonderful South Florida weather. When you visit us on the boulevard, why not come by boat? The Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi will bring you right here.

    We have lots of special events which take place throughout the year and some of the nicest people you'll ever wish to meet are right here. If you're planning a destination wedding, there's no better place.

    The boulevard has a lot of history too. Stay at the Riverside Hotel - built in 1936, or visit the Stranahan House Museum and see where Fort Lauderdale itself began. Enjoy breakfast, at any time of day or night, in the historic Floridian diner. See the Elbo Room, the place featured in Where the Boys Are - the iconic Spring Break movie made in 1960.

    Las Olas Boulevard has something to suit all tastes, all ages and all budgets. Dance the night away or enjoy a quiet drink in a relaxing bar. Experience fine dining in one of our many restaurants, or grab a pizza, sandwich, panini or salad. Enjoy cuisine from all over the world right here. And don't miss the treats we have for you - chocolates, ice creams, frozen yogurts, candies, pastries - all made right here on Las Olas. Eat at a sidewalk café, people-watch, visit our world-class museum of art, take the kids to the science museum for a day of fun, sit and watch the water traffic go by on the New River ... there's so much to do.

    Shop for the finest goods - and bargains too. Our stores sell everything from diamonds to dresses, from gowns to garlic bread!

    We have all your needs taken care of on Las Olas. We have a pharmacy, dry-cleaners, a deli, dressmakers, gifts, quality cigars ... in addition to pampering services if you're looking for a massage, a manicure or a magnificent haircut. We even have our own Sunday farmers' market.

    We haven't forgotten the business traveler. If you're in Fort Lauderdale for business, you'll find every service you need on the boulevard and what better place to work? Many of our restaurants have free wifi so you can check your email and write your blog as you sip an Italian coffee and enjoy a snack in a sidewalk café.

    We'll look forward to seeing you on Las Olas!