Top 5 worst hurricanes to impact Central Virginia

Updated: Jun. 4, 2020 at 5:12 PM EDT
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(WWBT) - The NBC12 weather team dug up a list from a few years ago to come up with a top-five list of the worst hurricanes to impact Central Virginia.

This factors in the amount of damage caused and the number of deaths the storms caused.

#5 Hurricane Hazel 1954

To date, Hazel is the most powerful hurricane to move over Central Virginia, producing wind gusts of 79 mph in Richmond, the highest ever measured during a tropical event. Wind damage to trees and buildings was extensive across the area, but the storm's fast movement kept it from being completely devastating.

#4 Hurricane Gaston 2004

Temporarily stalling over the Richmond metro area, Gaston dumped between 10-12 inches of rain in numerous spots as a tropical storm. Shockoe Bottom was completely swallowed up when the city's drainage system became overwhelmed by the rain. All told, Gaston caused $130 million in damage and killed 9 people.

#3 Hurricane Agnes 1972

The storm that produced the worst river flooding in Virginia history, Agnes caused the James River to crest at an all time record 36 and a half feet in Richmond. This washed out all but one of the bridges across the river and caused much of downtown Richmond to be flooded. All told, the storm caused $222 million in damage and killed 16 people.

#2 Hurricane Camille 1969

Though only a tropical depression while over Virginia, the storm dumped more rain than any other in state history. Hardest hit was Nelson County, where an incredible 27 inches of rain fell. The devastating flash flooding and mudslides that ensued killed 153 people across the area, making Camille the deadliest natural disaster in Virginia history.

#1 Hurricane Isabel 2003

Producing wind gusts of 73mph in Richmond, the hurricane blew down thousands of trees across the area, knocking out power to over 2 million households. Its combination of strong winds and heavy rain killed 36 people and caused an estimated $1.85 billion in damage, making it the costliest natural disaster in state history. No storm has had more impacts on the area than this one, which is why Isabel is the worst hurricane in Central Virginia history.

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