On August 29, 1960, the storm that would become Hurricane Donna formed near the Cape Verde Islands off the African coast. It would go on to cause 150 deaths from Puerto Rico to New England over the next two weeks. On August 31, Donna attained hurricane status and headed west toward the Caribbean. It was a Category 4 hurricane by the time it reached the Leeward Islands on September 4. Donna left a path of destruction across on Puerto Rico and a portion of the Bahamas before turning northeast toward Cuba and the Florida Keys. Donna punished Cuba, one hundred and twenty people lost their lives in there when evacuation plans were not carried out properly. On September 9, winds with speeds of up to 200 miles per hour battered the Florida Keys before Donna skipped back to the Atlantic Ocean. The storm then rode the Florida coastline, causing 13 deaths in Fort Myers and Daytona Beach. The state’s grapefruit and orange crops also took devastating blows and almost half of the largest mangrove tree forest in the United States was lost. It was the strongest storm to hit Florida until Andrew in 1992. On September 12, Donna battered the Outer Banks on North Carolina and was still a Category 3 hurricane. It stared to move quickly, it hit the New England coast on the night of September 12, 1960, still with hurricane force winds. Blue Hill Observatory, MA, had a wind gust of 145 mph. It is the only hurricane on record to produce hurricane force winds in every state that has a coast line on the Atlantic Ocean. Florida received the most damage from Hurricane Donna. Portions of southern and western Florida received over 10 in of rainfall from the hurricane. In the state of Florida, the storm destroyed 2,156 homes and trailers, severely damaged 3,903, and inflicted minor impact on 30,524 others. Winds as strong as 100 mph were observed along the coast of New Jersey. Damage from the storm was most severe in Atlantic, Cape May, Monmouth and Ocean counties, where numerous boats, docks, boardwalks, and cottages were damaged or destroyed. A resort area in Cliffwood beach, New Jersey saw its boardwalk and tourist attractions destroyed by the hurricane, and the area has never recovered to this day, 61 years later. Losses to agriculture were significant, with damage to apple and peach trees "considerable", the former of which lost about one-third of its crops. Wind damage to corn and sorghum resulted in a delay in their harvest.
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