On September 18, 1926, a category 4 hurricane struck South Florida dead on. After the event was over, “372 persons had died in the storm and over 6,000 persons were injured. Damages in 1926 dollars were estimated at $105 million, [which would be more than $100 billion in today’s dollar]” according to the Red Cross report of October of the same year.
Miami and the surrounding areas were young back then. The city was incorporated barely 30 years before and was still a mixture of agricultural land and escape destination for the rich of the times. Both got pretty much banged by an estimated 140 mph wind.
Experience with hurricanes, specially big ones was nonexistent. It is said that the biggest loss of life happened when the eye of the hurricane passed over Miami and people flocked to the street unaware that they were only halfway through the experience.
The National Weather Service has a very decent page with the historical records including the actual weather bureau report of the hurricane and pictures like the ones I posted here.