A History of Major Storms in NYC

One of the only hurricanes believed to have passed directly over parts of modern New York City struck on September 3, 1821

View Comments ()
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    Waves striking a seawall during a hurricane in 1938.

    With Hurricane Sandy heading north towards the tri-state area, here is a look back at major storms that have slammed us in the past.  

    1821 HURRICANE

    One of the only hurricanes believed to have passed directly over parts of modern New York City made landfall on Sept. 3, 1821. In one hour the tide rose 13 feet and inundated wharves, causing the East River to meet the Hudson River across lower Manhattan as far north as Canal Street. Because flooding was concentrated in neighborhoods with far fewer homes than exist today few deaths were attributed to the storm.

    1893 HURRICANE

    A Category 1 hurricane destroyed Hog Island, a resort island off the Rockaways in southern Queens in 1893.

    1938 HURRICANE

    In 1938, the eye of a Category 3 hurricane crossed over Long Island and into New England, killing nearly 200 people. The storm caused millions of dollars in damage and killed 10 people in New York City. Floods knocked out electrical power in the Bronx and above 59th Street in Manhattan. The IND subway line lost power, and 100 large trees were destroyed in Central Park. New York City experienced the weaker side of the hurricane, which could have caused far more deaths and damage if it passed closer to the five boroughs.

    1954, CAROL

    Hurricane Carol made landfall in eastern Long Island and southeastern Connecticut in 1954. It was the most destructive hurricane to hit the northeast coast since 1938, with sustained winds over 100 mph and gusts of 115 to 125 mph Though the storm's track was 40 miles east of the five boroughs, major flooding occurred throughout the city.

    1960, DONNA

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

    1955, CONNIE & DIANE

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

    1972, AGNES

    Tropical Storm Agnes combined with another storm system in June 1972, flooding areas from North Carolina to New York state and causing 122 deaths and more than $6 billion in damage, when adjusted for inflation.

    1985, GLORIA

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said that Hurricane Gloria in 1985 could have been catastrophic had it been a little closer to the city and arrived at high tide. The catefory 3 hurricane first hit North Carolina and caused devistation along the east coast. Though downgraded to a category 1 hurricane by the time it reached Long Island, the storm left serious damage on the island.

    1995, FELIX

    In 1995, Hurricane Felix lingered near the East Coast for nearly a week in 1995, menacing the Northeast.

    1996, BERTHA

    Tropical Storm Bertha brought heavy rain to the city in July 1996.

    1996, EDOUARD

    After moving toward New York City around Labor Day in 1996, Hurricane Edouard veered out to sea.

    1999, FLOYD

    Tropical Storm Floyd brought sustained 60 mph winds and dumped 10 to 15 inches of rain in parts of New Jersey and New York state over a 24-hour period in September 1999. Flash flooding forced hundreds of people to leave their homes in counties just outside the five boroughs. New York City schools closed for the first time since 1996 and the city opened emergency storm shelters as a precautionary measure.

    2011, IRENE

    Hurricane Irene was downgraded to a tropical storm just before it made landfall in New York City in August 2011. The city issued the first-ever mandatory evacuation of coastal areas, an evacuation that encompassed 370,000 residents living in evacuation zone A, the entire Rockaway Peninsula, and 34 health care facilities located in evacuation zone B. The city provided shelter for 10,000 evacuees. Up to 7inches of rain fell across the city, with winds of 65 mph. The storm cost the city an estimated $100 million in damages and more than 8,000 residents were approved for $13.6 million in federal disaster assistance.

    Information from the New York City and Nassau County Offices of Emergency Management.

    Get the latest from NBC 4 New York anywhere, anytimeiPhone/iPad App | Twitter | Facebook | Email Newsletters Send Us News Tips | Google+ | Instagram | RSS