Friday, September 18, 2015

Remembering Hurricane Isabel

Who remembers Hurricane Isabel?
The storm made landfall 12 years ago today (September 18th, 2003) and will always be remembered for its extremely large wind field, extensive flash flooding (especially in the Shenandoah Valley), and the the unusually high storm surge in the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River Basin.
I was in 5th grade and remember shingles being blown off the school with the arrival of the outer bands. It made landfall in the Outer Banks as a category 2 hurricane (max sustained winds of 105 mph) and maintained tropical storm strength all the way across the state. Schools in my area ended up being shut down a week due to a combination of flash flooding and wind damage.
In Virginia, Isabel...
-destroyed more than 1,186 homes and 77 businesses, severely damaged 9,110 homes and 333 businesses, and left 107,908 homes and over 1,000 businesses with minor damage
-damage totals amounted to roughly $1.85 billion
-led to 1.8 million power outages
-created storm surge as high as 6-9 feet across the Chesapeake Bay and the tidal Potomac River Basin flooding coastal areas
-dumped 3-5" of rain widespread with as much as 20" in parts of the Shenandoah Valley
-caused 36 deaths—10 directly from the storm's effects and 26 indirectly related

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