Hurricanes in Virginia

Hurricane Isabel
Hurricane Isabel, 2003 (Source: NOAA)

The flooding from the storm surge that accompanies a hurricane is the greatest danger, though winds are a major threat as well. In 1667 the water level in the Chesapeake Bay rose 12 feet, and in 1749 it rose 15 feet.1

There were "Great September Gusts" in 1667, 1769, 1775 (The "Independence Hurricane"), and 1821. The storm that passed over Mount Vernon on July 23, 1788 is called "George Washington’s Hurricane."

Superstorm Sandy, October 2012
Source: MSNBC

Hurricane Isabel


in 1969, Hurricane Camille dropped at least 27
in 1969, Hurricane Camille dropped at least 27" of rain overnight in Nelson County Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Hurricane Camille - August 16-21, 1969


1. "The Hurricane History of Coastal Virginia," Virginia Department of Emergency Management Web site,, October 3, 2001
Resources to Explore:
- "Inventory of John Norton & Sons Papers, 1750-1902," letter from Peter Lyons to [John] Norton, 8 September 1769 - Mariner, Kirk, "The Great September Gust," Virginia Cavalcade, pp. 20-30, Vol. 32 (Summer 1982)
- Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 19, p. 250

Station 42040 - MOBILE SOUTH 64 nm South of Dauphin Island, AL as of 1050 GMT on 09/17/2004
how wind and air pressure fluctuate as a hurricane passes over -
Hurricane Ivan off the coast of Alabama, September 2004
(Source: NOAA National Buoy Data Center)

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