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13 tropical storms and hurricanes have hit Lancaster County since the '50s; which ones do you remember? [photos]

40 years later, Agnes' wrath touches off flood of memories

Front Street and much of Marietta's downtown was under water after heavy rains from Tropical Storm Agnes caused widespread flooding. (Lancaster Newspapers)

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The 2019 hurricane season officially ends on Saturday, November 30. 

Lancaster County, though, hasn't seen a tropical storm or hurricane since  Sandy in 2012.

The United States has experienced 19 Atlantic-based tropical depressions, storms, hurricanes and subtropical storms this season, which started on May 20.

Here's a look at  hurricanes and tropical storms that have hit Lancaster County.


Hurricane Abel

The summer of 1952 was one known for its contrasts, according to the Intelligencer Journal.

"The last gasp of Hurricane Abel, which brought wind and a torrential downpour to Lancaster county yesterday really rounds out the summer weather picture."

Date Abel hit: Sept. 1, 1952

Here's a link to the archived coverage.


Hurricane Hazel

Hurricane Hazel left quite a bit of destruction in Lancaster County. Nine people were injured.

Date Hazel hit: Oct. 16, 1954

Here's a link to the archived coverage.


Hurricane Connie

Connie brought sustained winds of 53 mph, and it rained in Lancaster County for 40 hours straight.

Some places got as much as 6 inches of rain. Rising creek waters caused some families to evacuate in the Paradise area.

Date Connie hit: Aug. 13, 1955

Here's a link to the archived coverage.


Hurricane Diane

Diane was not considered as significant as Connie was in Lancaster County, as she didn't cause much destruction.

However, this storm did provide a cautionary tale for future weather events.

In an editorial in the Intelligencer Journal, we said, "There are some people who misguidedly claim that too much publicity is given to unusual weather conditions. The case of Hurricane Diane, we think, shows how wrong that attitude is. For knowledge, even though it does at times bring tension and anxiety, leads to preparedness."

Date Diane hit: Aug. 19, 1955

Here's a link to the archived coverage.


Tropical Storm Agnes

Agnes is frequently regarded as one of the worst storms to hit the Southcentral Pennsylvania area.

It was a hurricane, but by the time it had reached Pennsylvania, it was considered a tropical storm.

In one day, Agnes brought 8.46 inches of rain to the Lancaster County area.

Ten people from the county died as a result of the storm.

Date Agnes hit: June 22, 1972


Tropical Storm David

Lancaster New Era staff writers prepared for the worst when they heard about Tropical Storm David. It brought 40 mph winds, knocked down trees, knocked out power and dumped 5.5 inches of rain on the area.

The storm caused the Quarryville Borough sewage treatment plant to back up, flooding residents' homes with what was called a "smelly flooding problem."

Date David hit: Sept. 6, 1979

Here's a link to archived coverage.


Hurricane Floyd

Hurricane Floyd did hit the Lancaster County area, but it caused negligible damage.

"I am amazed and relieved that the county did not have more serious damage due to Hurricane Floyd," Randall Gockley, the county's then-emergency management coordinator, told the Lancaster New Era in 1999.

Some houses lost electricity, but that was the most major consequence of this storm, according to then-New Era staff writer Tim Buckwalter.

Date Floyd hit: Sept. 16, 1999

The 46 wettest days in modern Lancaster County history

Here's a link to the archived coverage.


Hurricane Isabel

Isabel came through Lancaster County and cut power to thousands of people, in addition to killing a county man. 

A previous article written by then-staff writer Tom Murse in 2003 said that Isabel was "impressive but not catastrophic."

Winds uprooted trees across the county - nearly 200 of them, according to an editorial in 2003.

The editorial ended saying, "Hurricane Isabel has come and gone, reminding once again that no matter how carefully we attempt to organize our lives and operate a civilized society, natural disasters quickly can intervene, with potentially catastrophic consequences."

Turning the lights back on: So what took so long?
'Impressive but not catastrophic'

Date Isabel hit: Sept. 19, 2003


Hurricane Ivan

Within a couple of weeks, Lancaster County got hit with the one-two punch from Ivan and Jeanne.

This LNP article chronicles Ivan's damage.

Basements were flooded and the Susquehanna River swelled, but residents in Marietta had said they had seen much worse.

Hurricane Ivan drenches Marietta as its winds wind down

Date Ivan hit: Sept. 17, 2004


Hurricane Hanna

Hanna hit Lancaster County, but it was welcomed.

LNP reported, the 4 inches of rain offered by Hanna brought some well-needed moisture to the county after the season had offered a dry July and August.

The storm did down some wires and trees, however, and several sports events were moved or cancelled.

Date Hanna hit: Sept. 19, 2008


Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee

Bringing back a flood of memories

Six people are stranded on top of flooded vehicles on Route 230 in Mount Joy, Sept. 7, 2011. (Blaine T. Shahan / Staff)

Irene and Lee hit the Lancaster County area within two weeks of each other.

Irene flooded the area with 3 inches of rain, which downed trees and power lines.

Less than two weeks later, Lee hit, dumping up to 15 inches of rain in some areas. 

Residents expected the damage to be similar to that of Agnes, which hit in June 1972.

While Lee wasn't quite as bad as Agnes, it's still considered one of the wettest weather events in Lancaster County history.

Date Irene hit: Aug. 27, 2011

Date Lee hit: Sept. 6, 2011


Hurricane Sandy

Sandy does little damage in Lancaster County

Tree damage at Spencer Avenue and Elwood Avenue in Lancaster Township. (Anonymous Submission)

Dubbed the "Frankenstorm" to watch out for, Hurricane Sandy went through Lancaster County, leaving just as quickly as it arrived. It dumped 3 to 6 inches of rain and downed trees and power lines.

Many say it could have been worse.

"It was more bark than bite," said Millersville University meteorologist Eric Horst in an article published on the 1-year anniversary of the hurricane. "I remember it for what it did along the Jersey coast. I don't remember it for what it did in Lancaster."

Hurricane Sandy was nasty, but it could have been worse in Lancaster County

Date Sandy hit: Oct. 29 to 30, 2012


Editor's note: This list does not include storms that were projected to hit Lancaster County but didn't. It also does not include remnants from storms in the Gulf that later turned into rain-making weather systems.


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