(WTNH) - Late summer is prime-time for Hurricanes. It's a weather beast that may not be all-to-common to us, but it certainly is no stranger either.
Hurricanes fascinate, they hypnotize, and they destroy. Hurricanes are a fact of life for the East Coast, and although many are considered near misses for us in Connecticut there are those that have slammed our state and left a lasting impression.
"(A) hurricane has a multi-threat," Storm Team 8 Meteorologist Dr. Mel Goldstein said. "It's natural to think of the shoreline and the inland and the flooding that would take place ... but because of the topography ... hurricanes maintain that energy well inland."
Since 1858 eight hurricanes have crossed our borders, causing untold damage. The last one to deeply impact our state was in September of 1985.
"That is a storm of record that most of us remember," Dr. Mel said.
Although Hurricane Gloria weakened before landfall it still packed a solid punch.
"The water was in turmoil and there was considerable amounts of flooding and the storm surges were very big."
Homes and property were crushed along the East Coast, causing $1.8 billion in damage by today's standards. Six people were killed. And since the great ice storm of '73 "it created the single greatest power outage in the history of Connecticut," Dr. Mel said.
Then there was the Great Hurricane of 1938, known as the "Long Island Express." The stage was set for weeks. Rain made the ground ripe for flooding. Then on September 21st it came.
"I don't think there was a more perfect storm than the Hurricane of '38," Dr. Mel said.
The flooding was unreal. Bridges collapsed, train tracks disassembled, homes obliterated. Properties along the shoreline were wiped out, including that of Hollywood icon Katherine Hepburn, whose Fenwick home in Old Saybrook was destroyed by the storm. The loss of property in New England totaled in the billions. In all 800 people were killed, 97 in Connecticut.
"The stories from that storm will live forever," Dr. Mel said.
The most devastating and memorable storms that impacted Connecticut occurred in 1955. Hurricanes Connie and Diane delivered a double dose of wind and rain.
Connie passed New England August 11th and 12th. Diane followed Aug. 19th.
"Within 10 days we had over 20 inches of rain, which is half of the amount we get for a whole year," Dr. Mel said.
Connecticut was especially impacted. 91 people were killed, more than 20,000 families sustained damage to their homes.
"There wasn't a downtown section of any community that was not changed by the presence of these storms," said Dr. Mel, who experienced the storms as a child in his Massachusetts home.
"Myself, I was evacuated by the fire department," he said. "The water kept piling up in the cellar and it looked like, you know, it was going to take over the whole house."
In Connecticut alone, the storms totaled $500 million dollars in damage. More like $4 billion now, making it the costliest in state history.
"There was never, that I can recall, a storm of greater devastation than the combination of the two hurricanes Connie and Diane."
Freezing drizzle and below freezing temperatures are making for a slow and dangerous commute this morning.
A multi-vehicle crash closed part of Interstate 95 in southwestern Connecticut for about two hours as road conditions turned slippery with the arrival of a wintry storm.
I-91 Northbound is closed in Cromwell because of a tractor trailer accident.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A former colleague of a Yale University professor who died in police custody is organizing a protest, calling it a "political death."
WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) — A New York man has been charged with attempted assault against two Waterbury police officers who tried to stop him after a home invasion and robbery.
MONROE, Conn. (AP) — A 72-year-old homeowner has died following a house fire that injured five others, including four firefighters.
GREENWICH, Conn. (AP) — A multi-vehicle crash closed part of Interstate 95 in southwestern Connecticut for about two hours as road conditions turned slippery with the arrival of a wintry storm.
Lawmakers in Connecticut and New York are calling on the Federal Railroad Administration to take immediate action to try and prevent another deadly train crash like the one that happened last weekend in New York City.
Members of the Machinists union who work at jet-engine maker Pratt & Whitney have approved a new three-year contract.
Manchester police are investigating what lead one man to allegedly kill three women and then take his own life.