A hurricane with 135-mph winds caused millions of dollars worth of damage and scores of deaths at Cedar Key, FL. The hurricane demolished two hotels, several churches and schoolhouses and many other buildings while the storm also hit lumber and turpentine industries extremely hard. The storm caused major floods, which begat fires throughout the city. The hurricane so damaged the Florids Central and Peninsula Railroad that four new miles of track required rebuilding. Many survivors in the hardest hit areas of Cedar Key clung to life by hanging on to floating pieces of lumber or clinging to treetops until the floodwaters receded.
Within two months of the natural disaster, Governor Mitchell of Florida put out an unprecedented call to leaders in adjacent states for a multi-state harbor defense. The convention to set up the harbor defense association convened in Tampa, Florida the following summer.