All indications are New Jersey’s encounter with Hurricane Irene will be a dangerous and possibly destructive one. The monster storm, which is currently churning its way toward the east coast, was displaying maximum sustained winds of 110 mph according to the 8 a.m. report from the National Weather Service on Friday.
But how historic could this storm be? If the early projections hold true, the impact could possibly be something you’d only experience in the Garden State and the New York City area once in a lifetime.
According to information on the Weather Channel website, there have only been five hurricanes with centers of circulations that passed within 75 miles of New York City. Hurricane Gloria was the last, and that was 26 years ago in 1985.
It’s been even longer–much longer–since a hurricane crossed the NJ coast. According to weather.com, it happened last in 1903.
The last one to have the impact Irene potentially brings was the Great Atlantic Hurricane of 1944. Many readers may have heard of the storm while watching and reading coverage as Irene approaches. For those not familiar with what happened 67 years ago, that storm reportedly caused 80-100 mph winds and 30-50 foot waves on the coast of the state.
Many readers probably remember Hurricane Floyd, the remnants of which in 1999 produced flooding, damage, and business and education closings in the state. The Associated Press reports Floyd is the last hurricane to directly hit New Jersey.
If reports hold true, Irene could be the next storm to reach this historic level of destruction.