(WAVY) – “Each storm is entirely unique.” That’s the main thing I’ve learned about covering hurricanes and tropical storms in our area.
Last year, the remnants of Hurricane Michael brought heavy rain and some wind damage.
In 2016, Hurricane Matthew brought some wind, but the biggest threat was torrential downpours. Up to 14” of rain in a short time flooded neighborhoods which had never seen flooding. And some of those neighborhoods are still recovering three years later.
But by far the biggest storm to strike in recent years, was Hurricane Isabel in 2003. Winds from 45 to 90 mph battered us for eight hours. The surge of water accompanying that wind was the highest in 70 years. Tens of thousands of trees were knocked down in that combination of wind and waterlogged soil.
A record 1.8 million customers in Virginia. For many of us, power was out for weeks. And in Virginia, 10 people died as a direct result of Isabel, 26 people died in the aftermath.
“Each storm is entirely unique.” We could get another uniquely strong, uniquely dangerous hurricane this summer. Perhaps even stronger than any I’ve mentioned. Or it may not happen at all this year. But it will happen someday. And that’s why we’re here. And that’s why we want you to be prepared.