American Disasters - Great New York Disasters

Reviewed Resources for Students and Teachers 


Great American Disasters State by State

Alabama  - Alaska  - Arizona  - Arkansas  - California  - Colorado  - Connecticut  - Delaware  - Florida  - Georgia  - Hawaii  - Idaho  - Illinois  - Indiana  - Iowa  - Kansas  - Kentucky  - Louisiana  - Maine  - Maryland  - Massachusetts  - Michigan  - Minnesota  - Mississippi  - Missouri  - Montana  - Nebraska  - Nevada  - New Hampshire  - New Jersey  - New Mexico  - New York  - North Carolina  - North Dakota  - Ohio  - Oklahoma  - Oregon  - Pennsylvania  - Rhode Island  - South Carolina  - South Dakota  - Tennessee  - Texas  - Utah  - Vermont  - Virginia  - Washington - West Virginia  - Wisconsin  - Wyoming 


These pages do not begin to cover all the disasters that have taken place in every state.  There is also controversy over what constitutes and defines a "great" disaster from any other kind.  All disasters are "great" to those directly involved in them.

So these pages are a mix of "great" and "not so great" disasters.  The major disasters are all covered in the larger sites I have linked to as resources and the rest are related items of interest.

For example, you might not find a particular major disaster on this list, but it may be included in a site such as, which is one of the resources found here.

This is an excellent place to begin your research.  The links found here lead to an ever widening amount of information.  Good luck in your efforts.

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Airbus Crash Belle Harbor, Queens, New York __ Photos and brief overview. - illustrated - From -

Buffalo, NY Kelker Blower Co. Explosion, Jan 1916 __ "Four persons are known to have been killed, several are missing and four were injured in a explosion late today that wrecked the plant of the Kelker Blower company, manufacturers of planing mill exhausts and ventilators, on Harrison street." You will find original news reports and links to additional resources. - From Cheryl/ -

FEMA: New York State Disaster History __ New York Disaster History. Major Disaster Declarations. Click on the 'disaster #' on the right side of the list to access detailed information including images and more. - illustrated - From FEMA - 

General Slocum Fire __ "They Were Earth's Purest Children, Young And Fair. Proudly wearing their Sunday school best, hundreds of them together boarded an East River excursion boat one sunny picnic morning in June 1904 — and together they perished, in a screaming horror that remains to this day the single worst disaster New York City has ever known." A good overview. - illustrated - From -

Happyland Fire __ "The Happy Land Fire was an arson fire which killed 87 people trapped in an unlicensed social club called "Happy Land" in New York City, on March 25, 1990." An encyclopedic article. - From wikipedia -


Historic Disasters: New York Disasters __ You will find a list of New York disasters. Each list entry is a live link to additional information. - From -
A History of Hurricanes in New York __ "A history of hurricanes in New York—including the day in 1893 that Hog Island disappeared for good." Not a timeline of history but an editorial based on it. some very good reading. - From -

List of New York hurricanes __ An index of articles about New York hurricanes found in wikipedia. - From wikipedia -

New York City Disaster __ You will find an annotated timeline of New York City disasters as well as important disaster contact numbers. - From -


New York Disasters Floods, Fires, Tornadoes, Mine Explosions and more __ "Events that touched our ancestor's lives: NewYork floods, fires, Tornadoes, hurricanes, storms, mining accidents, explosions, train wrecks, tragic accidents ..." - illustrated - From -

New York, Disasters Timeline, 21st Century __ Timeline of New York, Disasters linked to the news articles and displayed as icons. - From -
New York, NY Ferry Boat Wreck & Fire, Aug 1910  __ "The Secaucas, of the Lackawanna Line, Gets Beyond Control and Collides With a Pennsylvania Railroad Boat, and Then Rams a Coal Pier-Fire Breaks Out and Adds to Alarm of Passengers." You will find original news reports and links to additional resources. - From Stephanie/ -

New York, NY Fire Jan 1860 __ "The flames spread from the starting-point to the buildings on the right and left, and, before they could be checked, had destroyed the large stores..." an overview. - From -,-ny-fire-jan-1860

New York Tornadoes __ New York tornadoes from 1950 to 1995, listed by County. - From -

Super Outbreak __ "The Super Outbreak is the largest tornado outbreak on record. From April 3 to April 4, 1974, there were 148 tornadoes confirmed in 13 US states and one Canadian province: Ontario, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and New York." An encyclopedic article. - illustrated - From wikipedia -

September 11 Terrorist Attacks __ "The September 11, 2001 attacks (often referred to as 9/11) consisted of a series of coordinated suicide attacks by al-Qaeda on that date upon the United States of America." An encyclopedic article. - illustrated - from wikipedia - 

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire __ "The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City on March 25, 1911, was the largest industrial disaster in the history of the city of New York, causing the death of 146 garment workers who either died from the fire or jumped to their deaths." An encyclopedic article. - illustrated - From wikipedia -

Triangle Shirtwaist Fire __ "At 4:45 pm the bell rang signaling that the workday was done. The girls in the light brown and terra cotta Asch building, on the corner of Greene Street and Washington Place in lower Manhattan, had put in some overtime. ... As the girls were gathering their belongings and putting on their coats someone yelled "Fire!" A good look at what happened next. - From -

TWA Flight 800 __ "The flight departed JFK about 20:19, with two pilots, two flight engineers, 14 flight attendants, and 212 passengers on board. All 230 people on board were killed, and the airplane was destroyed." An encyclopedic article. - From wikipedia -



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