10 Years Since Hurricane Isabel

It's been 10 years since the last major Tropical system has brought widespread damage to the Valley.

Hurricane Isabel struck the North Carolina coast as a category two hurricane, 10 years ago.
It weakened to a tropical storm as it moved through Virginia. 

Remember hurricane categories are only based on wind speed. It does not account for heavy rain and flooding.

Isabel still strong winds and incredible amounts of rainfall into central Virginia, and right through the Shenandoah Valley. 

Take a look at these rainfall totals from the National Weather Service.

Most of the area saw 6" to 12" of rain.

A few inches of rain in a short amount of time can create flooding, but look in southern Augusta county towards the Blue Ridge.

Sherando recorded just over 20" of rain.

Notice the most rain fell along the mountains, that also creates runoff into lower areas.

Although the Valley may have been spared from the strongest of Isabel's winds we were not spared by the torrential rain and flooding.



The strongest of the winds stayed on the right side of the center of the track, while the heaviest of the rain fell on the left side.

Because of rain before the storm, the soil was already saturated.

Many trees fell and in addition to the flooding, thousands were without power.

In parts of West Virginia there were mudslides.

Many had to be rescued from their cars.

Isabel is directly responsible for the deaths of 10 people in the state of Virginia.




Take a look at the size of Isabel. 

This is a satellite image of the storm on September 18th, as it was headed into Virginia.

Isabel was one of the worst storms to hit Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic since 1954's with Hurricane Hazel.

Inland flooding from a tropical system, is the most deadly danger of a hurricane, or tropical storm.

Even though the Valley is not along a coastline, the mountains can create an environment susceptible to flooding.

Especially with a tropical system.

Even though it's been 10 years since a major event, you need to be prepared. Hopefully it will be a long time before the area sees anything like this again, but are you ready? Do have enough water and supplies to last you several days without power? These are things that everyone should prepare for.

Follow Meteorologist Aubrey Urbanowicz WHSV on Facebook and Twitter.

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