Hurricane season has been quiet so far but one of the worst storms on record for the Eastern Shore occurred 90 years ago in August

August 8, 2023
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Eastern Shore Hurricane Survival Guide

The hurricane on 1933 hit here on August 23 and 24, 1933.  The storm was considered a legendary storm and was only a category one.  But it lingered near the coast of Virginia and before it was over,  settlements on Assateague and  the town of Broadwater on Hog Island were gone forever.

August 23-24 1933  –  The Hurricane of 1933 was a transformational storm on the Eastern Shore.  The storm dumped estimates of 20 to 30 inches of rain ahead of  landfall. The 33 storm ended the Golden Age of Virginia’s Barrier Islands.   Prior to the storm, there were houses on Assateague, Hog, Cobb and other barrier islands.   The storm hit on August 23, 1933 and continued for two days. By the time it moved off, the town of Broadwater on Hog Island was practically destroyed, as were houses on Assateague. The resort on Cobb Island was totally destroyed. Wachapreague, Chincoteague and Cape Charles had tides ranging ftom 5 ft. at Chincoteague to 7 ft. at Cape Charles and 10 ft at Wachapreague.  Two deaths were reported, one of which was a baby that was ripped from its mother’s arms by the surging water.

After the storm, houses that were destroyed on Assateague were not rebuilt. At Broadwater on Hog Island owners of surviving homes moved them and the bodies of loved ones buried in the cemetery to Willis Wharf.  Today the community is known as “Little Hog Island” in Willis Wharf.

The Hurricane of 1933 also changed the course of Ocean City.  At the time of the storm Ocean City extended over three blocks south of the inlet.  There was no inlet, but the heavy rains raised the level of Assateague Bay and the water forced what is now Ocean City Inlet to form. Ocean City residents had been long asking for the state to dig an inlet so that boats could have access to the town. Mother NITature did that job at no cost to tax payers.

ESVA Chamber Fest, Saturday, May 18 in Cape Charles

The highest one minute wind speed at Cape Henry was 82 mph.

So far in 2023 no tropical storm has threatened the United States mainland.  There have been four named storms but they have remained off shore.  But the peak season for storms begins now and runs through September.

It is always best to have a plan.   You can log onto shoredailynews.com and click on the  A&N Electric Co-op-Shore Daily News Hurricane Preparedness Guide.  You can read a synopsis of all of the major hurricanes that have had an affect on the Eastern Shore.  You can locate your flood zone by typing in your address and you can find tips on how to prepare should a storm threaten our area.  There is also a paper version of the guide available at many local businesses.

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April 23, 2024, 5:55 pm
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