March 27, 2023

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Tropical Storm Agnes hit 50 years ago in June 1972

2 min read

It produced anywhere from 8-15 inches of rain in the DC Metro. Flooding records from Agnes still stand to this day.

WASHINGTON — Without revealing my exact age, let’s just say I can remember the heavy rain from the remnants of Tropical Storm Agnes in 1972.

We had new gutters installed on June 20. That was fortuitous as seven-13 inches of rain fell on the 21st and into the night of the 22nd.

National received 7.19″ while Dulles received 11″, both 24-hour rainfall records.

Agnes made a second landfall not far from New York City. It then looped back into south-central Pennsylvania. At the time it was the most costly natural disaster in the United States with over $2.1 billion in damage.

Five states were declared disaster areas: Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Florida. At one time experts warned all the dams in the area were not going to hold — they did.

Here is a picture of the building at White’s Ferry in upper Montgomery County.

Here is a picture of the second story of White’s Ferry in upper Montgomery County.

Roads, on the other hand, were washed out. If my dad hadn’t just bought a full tank of gas before work, he said he would have never made it home. A 45-minute drive became a 3.5-hour drive.

The lesson from Agnes is crystal clear. Winds are not the main threat from the tropical system, but rather heavy rains.

Our house only had one small drip of water in the basement thanks to those new gutters.

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2022-06-22 03:04:07

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