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HURRICANE LINKS

Sources for current hurricane news

Try the National Hurricane Center's site - if it isn't bogged down by everybody else watching the storm. (http://www.nhc.noaa.gov)
FEMA, the Palm Beach Post and Lowe's have teamed up to create a Web site with all the latest storm happenings. (http://www.gopbi.com/weather/storm)

The USA Today also has an informative site. (http://www.usatoday.com/weather/huricane/whur0.htm)

Images of current storms
The National Hurricane Center  (http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/graphics.html)

The Atlantic Basin Tropical Weather page (http://www.moreweather.com/tropics)

The Geostationary Satellite Server - covers all U.S. coasts (http://www.goes.noaa.gov)

Hurricane City (http://www.hurricanecity.com)

The Storm Display Web site (http://204.156.11.188/cyclones.asp)

IntelliCast's satellite image site  (http://www.intellicast.com/Tropical/World/UnitedStates/HurTrack1)

Hurricane glossaries
National Hurricane Center (http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutgloss.html)

Virginia Department of Emergency Services (http://www.vdes.state.va.us/00hurr/define.htm)

Emergency information and safety tips
Virginia Department of Emergency Services (http://www.vdes.state.va.us/00hurr/index.htm

FEMA (http://www.fema.gov)

The Red Cross (http://www.redcross.org/disaster/safety/hurrican.html

VDOT's evacuation routes (http://www.vdot.state.va.us/traf/hurricane.html)
 

THE FREDERICKSBURG AREA'S WORST HURRICANES
The following information comes from Free Lance-Star clips.  The date in parenthesis is the date the hurricane hit the area.  To research local hurricanes before 1999, use the clip files.  For stories from 1999 forward, use Tark.

Hurricane Agnes (June 21, 1972)

Agnes had been downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it reached the area, but it caused the second-worst flood of the Rappahannock River since record-keeping began in 1889.  The river crested at 39.1 feet (a 1942 flood caused it to crest at 44 feet).  One local death was reported: a Hanover County youth named Kevin Johnson died while trying to rescue someone in the Pamunkey River in Caroline County.  Flooding closed U.S. 1 south of Woodbridge closed and U.S. 301 in Caroline County. The Fredericksburg region was declared a disaster area by President Nixon and a state evaluation team estimated that the storm caused $3.1 million in damages in the area.
Hurricane Fran (September 6, 1996)
Rains from Fran caused the Rappahannock to crest at 26.9 feet on September 8, 1996.  It was the fifth-worst flood since records started in 1889.  Seven people died in Va., but none in the Fredericksburg area.  Only minimal property damage was reported here, although FEMA says it shelled out a total of $496 million in aid to the six states affected by Fran.


Hurricane Camille (August 20, 1969)

Camille was most devastating in Nelson County, Va, but it did cause some problems in this area: a dam at Lake Louisa broke and the North Anna River flooded.  One local person, Cecil Altman of Orange County, drowned. Four hundred cattle were reported drowned in Louisa County.
Flooding also closed railroads and highways in the area.  Interstate 95 was shut down for 8 hours,  U.S. 1 was under seven feet of water and U.S. 301 south of Bowling Green was blocked for days.   FEMA provided a total of $ 99.2 million in aid to Virginia and four other states hit by the storm.
 
HURRICANES IN VIRGINIA

Most expensive storm

The National Hurricane Center says Fran was the most damaging storm to hit the Old Dominion, causing $175 million of damages in Virginia and $3.2 billion in damages to the East Coast when it hit in 1996 (http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/pastcost.html).


Most deadly storm

153 people are believed to have died as a result of Hurricane Camille.  Flash floods and mudslides were responsible for many of the deaths. Camille struck the state on August 20, 1969 (http://www.vdes.state.va.us/vahurr/va-hurr.htm).


Number of direct hits by the worst storms

Surprisingly, there haven't been very many.  The National Hurricane Center says that, since 1900, Virginia has taken only one direct hit by a Category 3 storm, one by a Category 2 storm and two by Category 1 storms (http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/paststate.html).


More historical background on Virginia hurricanes

A synopsis of major Virginia storms back to the 1600s is available at http://www.vdes.state.va.us/vahurr/va-hurr.htm.
 
MORE HURRICANE FACTOIDS

Average number of hurricanes a year

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says an average of 10 tropical cyclones build over the Atlantic every year.  Of those, about two develop into major hurricanes that hit the U.S. coastline (http://hurricanes.noaa.gov/prepare/title_basics.htm).
Length of hurricane season
Hurricane season lasts from June 1 through November 30, but over 80 percent of all hurricanes occur between August and October (http://www.hurricanestorm.com/frequenc.htm).
Most deadly U.S. hurricane
FEMA says the Galveston, Texas hurricane of 1900 caused more deaths than any other natural disaster in U.S. history.  At least 8,000 people died (http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/pastdead.html).
Most costly U.S. hurricane
The National Hurricane Center says Andrew was the most expensive storm, with damages estimated at $25 billion  (http://www.hurricanestorm.com/mostcost.htm).
Maps of prior hurricane paths
Check out  the Hurricane Tracking Plotter for nifty animated maps of hurricane paths from 1900 from 1999
(http://weather.terrapin.com/PastStorms.html).  Florida State University has good maps for storms from 1886 to 1998 (http://www.met.fsu.edu/explores/tropical.html).   The National Hurricane Center has more mundane black and white charts (http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/pastall.html).
How hurricanes are categorized
Meteorologists use the Saffir Simpson Hurricane Scale to determine a hurricane's category. The storms are ranked from 1 to 5, with 5 being the most severe (http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutsshs.html).
How hurricanes are named
The World Meteorological Organization maintains the list of names for hurricanes and other tropical storms.  The U.S. started using female names for hurricanes in the 1950s. Male names were added to the list in 1979.  The same list of names is used again every six years (http://hurricanes.noaa.gov/prepare/hurricane_names.htm).  A quick list of storm names for the next five years is also available (http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutnames.html).  For a complete list of names, check out the Unisys Atlantic Storm History database (http://www.met.fsu.edu/explores/tropical.html).
Causes of hurricane-related deaths
A lot of deaths happen after, not during, a storm. FEMA says 18 of Hurricane Andrew's 54 victims died after the hurricane had passed.   Post-storm dangers included fires, stress-induced heart attacks, falls in damaged buildings and falling debris (http://www.fema.gov/library/hurrica.htm).