Top 5 worst hurricanes to hit Virginia
A look back at our most impactful hurricanes
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Although it’s been a quiet hurricane season so far this year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is still expecting above-normal activity to close out the season.
History shows more than 50 hurricanes have impacted Virginia. Let’s look at the five that have left the most significant mark on our state:
5. Hurricane Hazel (1954)
Hazel produced a 79 mph wind gust in Richmond, making it the most powerful hurricane to cross central Virginia. To this day, it is still Richmond’s highest wind gust ever measured during a tropical event. This quick-moving storm left Virginia with $15 million worth of damage and 12 deaths.
4. Hurricane Gaston (2004)
Gaston stalled over the Richmond metro and produced torrential rainfall for about 8 hours straight leading to unprecedented flooding across the area. The highest recorded rainfall was from Richmond’s West End, an astonishing 12.6 inches of rain. Eight people were killed as a direct result of the flooding.
3. Hurricane Agnes (1972)
Agnes is known for producing the worst river flooding the River City has ever seen. The James River crested at an all-time high of 36.5 feet. This record-setting crest washed out all but one of the bridges across the river. Agnes left $222 million of damage and 13 deaths in her wake.
2. Hurricane Camille (1969)
Camille is known as the deadliest natural disaster in state history. Over a roughly five-hour period, the storm produced rainfall totals as high as 27 inches. After the rain, deadly flash flooding & mudslides ensued. 153 people were killed in Virginia alone.
1. Hurricane Isabel (2003)
Isabel kept NBC12 on-air for 24 hours, helping central Virginians navigate the deadly storm. This hurricane left over 2 million without power, took down thousands of trees and triggered deadly flash flooding. Isabel killed 36 people and created over $1 billion in damage- making Isabel Virginia’s costliest natural disaster.
As always, you can continue to count on the NBC12 First Alert Weather Team to give you the latest on as we head closer to peak tropical season.
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