75 Years Since Chesapeake Potomac Hurricane
[Today] marks the 75th anniversary of the Chesapeake and Potomac Hurricane, one of the Mid-Atlantic region's most destructive natural disasters. It struck the North Carolina Outer Banks, coming ashore with 100 mph winds, before tearing through Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. The storm's broad circulation and high winds, as well as a west-northwesterly track that lasted for days before landfall, wrought widespread property losses from North Carolina to New York.
Here are some additional impacts from that storm:
- An astounding 11 foot storm surge was measured along the Potomac in Washington, D.C., and 12 foot surge in Alexandria, Va. as water from the Chesapeake Bay funneled up the river.
- In Alexandria, the Washington-Richmond highway was submerged under ten feet of water and the Torpedo Factory and the Ford Motor Company were under six feet of water.
- Bolling Air Force Base was under five feet of water.
- A train crossing the Anacostia River was swept off its tracks by the flood waters, killing ten people.
- Over 6" of rain fell in Washington, D.C. and 50 mph winds were recorded.
- Baltimore, Md. received over 10 inches of rain.
- The storm cut the inlet between Ocean City, Md. and Assateague Island.
- Storm damage exceeded $27 million, including $17 million in Maryland and $10 million in Virginia -- with significant crop losses.
- 30 fatalities were attributed to the storm.
It was considered the storm of the century by many people. Immense property losses added to the woes of the Great Depression. Many farmers, watermen and merchants lost everything. Some smaller communities never completely recovered.
- Rick Schwartz, midatlantichurricanes.com
With the exception of Agnes ('72) and Isabel ('03), few storms have impacted the area as severely since the great 1933 storm.
Will 2008 bring a great storm through our area? The odds are low. No disturbances in the tropics now appear threatening, notwithstanding the rain showers we may get from the remnants of Fay in the coming week.
Posted by: BuffettFan | August 23, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Here comes Hurricane season | August 23, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: JT | August 23, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse
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