A Brief NYC Hurricane History

Posted on: November 2nd, 2012 at 12:00 pm by

 

Chiming in on Sandy here. This is less about my take and more about a need to show you that we will get through this; we have done so before.

For pre-20th century (I’m talking back to 1693) hurricanes and others not listed below,  read about “Large ships driven into Governour’s Island,” “Hog Island (near Rockaways) swept away forever” and “The Battery washed away” at Weather2000.com

Here’s a few from the 20th century forward:

Verbiage directly from www.NYC.gov with pictures pulled by yours truly:

1938 HURRICANE (THE LONG ISLAND EXPRESS)

The most powerful hurricane known to have made landfall nearby — a category 3 hurricane — occurred in 1938. Its eye crossed over Long Island and into New England, killing nearly 200 people. The storm killed 10 people in New York City and caused millions of dollars in damage. Its floods knocked out electrical power in all areas above 59th Street in Manhattan and in all of the Bronx, the new IND subway line lost power, and 100 large trees in Central Park were destroyed.

Fortunately, New York City experienced the weaker “left side” of the 1938 hurricane — the City was 75 miles from the eye when it passed over Long Island. The hurricane could have caused far more deaths and damage if it passed closer to the five boroughs.

GREAT ATLANTIC HURRICANE 1944:

Rockefeller Plaza, Sept. 15, 1944, New York. (AP Photo/ John Lent)

CAROL (first named hurricane)

In 1954, Hurricane Carol made landfall in Eastern Long Island and Southeastern Connecticut. With sustained winds over 100 mph and gusts of 115 to 125 mph, it was the most destructive hurricane to hit the Northeast coast since the Long Island Express in 1938. Fortunately for City residents, the storm’s track was forty miles further east, and spared it a direct hit, but did result in major flooding throughout the City

EDNA

On the heels of Carol- and not named on NYC.gov’s website- comes Hurricane Edna, September 11, 1954.

Here are eerily similar pictures of LaGuardia Airport then and now:

LaGuardia in 1954 via Associated Press

LaGuardia in 2012

DONNA

In 1960, Hurricane Donna created an 11-foot storm tide in the New York Harbor that caused extensive pier damage.

WEST AND CORTLANDT streets: New York Times Archives

CONNIE & DIANE

Leftover rains from hurricanes Diane and Connie caused significant flooding in the City in August 1955, even though the eye of those storms did not cross directly over any of the five boroughs. Diane caused more than 200 deaths in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. Connie dropped more than 12 inches of rain at LaGuardia Airport.

AP Photo/John Lent

AGNES

In June 1972, Tropical Storm Agnes fused with another storm system in the northeastern U.S., flooding areas from North Carolina to New York State, causing 122 deaths and more than $6 billion dollars in damage (when adjusted for inflation).

GLORIA

The US Army Corps of Engineers has said that 1985’s Hurricane Gloria could have been catastrophic if it arrived at high tide and just a little closer to the City.

AP Photo/Jeffrey Klein: Fifth Avenue

There are hundreds more: Dean, David, Belle, Bertha, Felix, Edouard, Doria, Isabel, Allison, Bonnie, Alex…

IRENE

In August 2011, Hurricane Irene was downgraded to a tropical storm right before it made landfall in New York City. In preparation the City issued the first-ever mandatory evacuation of coastal areas on August 26, 2011. The evacuation encompassed 370,00 residents living in evacuation zone A, the entire Rockaway Peninsula, and 34 health care facilities located in evacuation zone B. The city sheltered 10,000 evacuees at 81 shelters. The rest stayed with family and friends outside the evacuation zones. Irene dropped up to seven inches of rain across the city and brought winds of 65 mph. The storm cost the city an estimated $100 million in damages. More than 8,000 residents were approved for $13.6 million in federal disaster assistance to help with the recovery.

Because many people felt Irene didn’t “live up to the hype,” we were clearly not as ready for Sandy as we could have been.

SANDY, October 28, 2012.

No need for images. We’re living it.

We are bent, not broken.

Peace.

Recent Stories

forever-stanton-november
ABC’s ‘Forever’ Continues Its Months-Long Filming Residency Today on the Lower East Side

The season-long residency of Forever continues today on the Lower East Side. This ABC production has been headquartered east of Essex Street (between Houston and Delancey) since July. It was around that time that the production transformed 154 Stanton Street – Smart Clothes Gallery – into a faux shop called “Abe’s Antiques.” Four months out, […]

7th-precinct
The 7th Precinct Now Has a Dedicated Twitter Account

For those of you interested in following the minutia of the 7th Precinct (or bashing them), today is your lucky day. The NYPD just sanctioned a new Twitter handle for our neighborhood cops. Profile picture of the new account is of the recently-appointed CO, Joseph Simonetti. Greetings from the #LES #LowerEastSide Looking forward to connecting! […]

125rivington-night
‘awindow’ Pop-Up Retail Lab Opening at 125 Rivington Street

Aside from plans last year to transform 125 Rivington into a bar called “The Carolinas,” the ground floor has seen naught but pop-up endeavors. In fact, the last such temporary shop was seven months ago, that of SR luxury backpacks. As of this week, though, it’s again all systems go. Roving creative house awindow edition […]

wd50-closing
WD-50 Countdown: Demolition Permits Filed for 7-Story Condo Tower on Clinton Street

WD-50 is slated to conclude its decade-long presence at 50 Clinton Street in just over a week (November 30). Demolition of the entire row of quaint commercial stock will transpire soon thereafter. Indeed, the former 1492 has already been boarded up with dismantling activities transpiring behind the plywood shroud. Demolition permits were issued earlier this […]

SantaCon, December 2011
Why It (Probably) Doesn’t Matter that SantaCon is without a Home

Bushwick put up a united front this week and did what the Lower East Side couldn’t. It essentially strongarmed SantaCon into canceling its plans to host the “charity” event in the Brooklyn enclave. Many of the bars reportedly refused to permit revelers with costume. amNewyork had the scoop on Wednesday, quoting organizers who claimed that […]