Everyone remembers Hurricane Sandy and the severe damage it caused throughout the state of New Jersey. As towns, homes and families have mended over time, the devastation of these natural disasters are never forgotten, and the horrifying truth of the matter is that Hurricane Sandy’s wrath was small-time in comparison to the most powerful storms that have swept across the state in past years. Below are some of the most devastating storms to strike the Garden State:
Snow Hurricane, 1804
Back in October of 1804, this monstrous hurricane smashed into the shorelines of Atlantic City with winds gusting over 110 mph throwing ships onto their beaches, knocking over thousands of trees, and sinking a ferry in Trenton, according to reports. It caused severe structural damage to many homes and businesses, and remains to be one of the most severe storms in the United States. This storm became classified as the “Snow Hurricane” due its record of being the first tropical cyclone in history to produce snowfall, as it yielded vast amounts of snow, rain and powerful winds sweeping over the northeastern United States.
Norfolk, Long Island Hurricane, 1821
Another disastrous storm of the 1800’s was the Norfolk, Long Island Hurricane. This storm stewed up the Atlantic Coast starting in Virginia and pounded the shores of Cape May, where winds were over 135 mph and its surge topping 5 feet. Although this storm mainly affected the southern regions of New Jersey, it also flooded the streets of Manhattan and Long Island, later being recorded as a category 4 hurricane.
The 20th Century’s Worst Hurricane, 1944
This hurricane, also known as the Great Atlantic Hurricane, spearheaded the state of New Jersey and was recognized by climatologists as the worst hurricane to ever hit New Jersey in the 20th century. The storm resulted in nearly $100 million dollars in damage including $25 million in New Jersey alone, where over 300 homes were destroyed on Long Beach Island and huge piers were split in two in Atlantic City.
Hurricane Connie and Hurricane Diane, 1955
Hurricanes Connie and Diane, both striking within days of each other in August of 1955, collectively produced more than 30 inches of rain and caused the worst flooding on record along the Delaware River in Warren County and eastern Pennsylvania. Amongst 85 lives that were lost across the east coast, 26 of them were people from New Jersey─ and although the storm never actually touched down in New Jersey, the state experienced massive flooding and winds up to 115 mph, contributing to the mass destruction of over 3000 homes.
Tropical Storm Floyd, 1999
Storm Floyd, originally categorized as a category 2 hurricane in the state of North Carolina, downgraded to a tropical storm status before it struck the Garden State, dumping torrential rain and causing widespread flooding, resulting in the loss of 6 lives. The tropical storm caused record floods at the Raritan, Rahway, Millstone and Saddle River, with the Raritan River in Bound Brook reaching a record height of 42 feet.
Hurricane Irene, 2011
Hurricane Irene was another “hurricane downgrade” that was classified as a tropical storm before it hit the state of New Jersey in August of 2011. The storm flooded counties across the central and northern regions of the state and destroyed numerous towns, including Bridgewater, Denville and Wayne, where 9 lives were lost, mostly from flash flooding and downed trees.
Remembering Sandy, 2012
Sandy will forever go down in history as one of the most damaging and devastating hurricanes to hit the Garden State. The storm was considered a hybrid of both a decaying hurricane and a developing nor’easter, where thousands of homes were destroyed along the jersey shore coast, millions of residences and commercial business lost power, and 30 lives were tragically taken. Being the most recent of natural disasters in the state of New Jersey, Sandy remains a heart-wrenching moment in state history as many homes, businesses and families were permanently compromised on October 29th, 2012, the day Super Sandy struck.
Storm Damage Assistance
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