Hurricane One (Nassau Hurricane, Hurricane San Liborio)
|Category 4 hurricane (SSHS)|
|Duration||July 22 – August 2|
|Peak intensity||140 mph (220 km/h), ≤ 967 mbar (hPa)|
The first storm of the season formed early on July 22 about 200 miles (320 km) east of the island of Barbados and gradually strengthened into a hurricane a day later. At 00 Universal Time Coordinated (UTC) on July 24, the hurricane made landfall at Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, with maximum sustained winds of 105 miles per hour (169 km/h). Weakening as it crossed Puerto Rico, the cyclone quickly regained strength on July 25 as it moved through the Bahamas; rapidly reaching maximum sustained winds of 130 mph (210 km/h), it attained the equivalence of Category 4 intensity—one of only four Atlantic hurricanes to have done so in or before the month of July. After peaking at 140 mph (230 km/h) with an estimated central pressure of 938 millibars (27.70 inHg), the cyclone struck the island of New Providence, the seat of the Bahamian capital Nassau, on the morning of July 26, producing wind speeds estimated at up to 135 mph (217 km/h) there. Weakening thereafter, the storm moved northwestward, paralleling the east coast of the US state of Florida, coming ashore near New Smyrna Beach, Florida, on the morning of July 28 with winds of 105 mph (169 km/h). Thereafter, the cyclone quickly diminished in intensity, becoming a tropical depression on July 29, as it curved west-northwestward over Georgia; three days later, it became an extratropical cyclone and dissipated over Ontario, Canada, on August 2.
In passing over the United States territory of Puerto Rico, the storm produced hurricane-force winds and heavy rainfall that flooded all the rivers in the southern half of the island; crops in the western portion of the island were greatly damaged, and the entire island was affected by strong winds. At least 25 people were reported to have died as a result. The storm in Puerto Rico is known as Hurricane San Liborio. The cyclone caused hurricane-force winds in the Turks and Caicos Islands, but no deaths were recorded. In The Bahamas, the cyclone killed at least 146 people and produced severe damage to the capital Nassau; it was called the worst storm to affect Nassau since the 1866 Nassau hurricane, another Category 4 cyclone that struck New Providence, and caused major flooding throughout the Bahamas. More than a week after the storm, 400 people were reported to be missing in the British colony. On the east coast of Florida, the hurricane produced a large storm tide that damaged boats, docks, and coastal structures, and damaging winds destroyed barns and crops well inland; severe damage to structures and communications wires was reported at New Smyrna Beach, where the storm struck the state. The storm also produced heavy rainfall along the coast, peaking at 10.02 inches (254.51 mm) at Merritt Island. One person died from the effects of the storm in Florida. In all, the hurricane caused at least 287 deaths—the fourth deadliest July hurricane since 1492— and 1926 USD $16,401,000 in losses, at least $8,000,000 of which were in the Bahamas. It remains only the second of three recorded hurricanes since 1851 to have struck the struck the east coast of Florida north of Cape Canaveral from the Atlantic Ocean, the others being a hurricane in 1915 and Hurricane Dora in 1964, although several storms with hurricane-force winds have crossed the region from other directions.