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WEDNESDAY AUGUST 23 - AN HISTORIC DELAWARE HURRICANE
The most active tropical season on record in the Atlantic Ocean was in 1933.
That year, 21 tropical storms developed, with 10 becoming hurricanes. Had storms been
named back then, we would have reached the letter "W."
On this date that year, one of those storms caused severe flooding across our
entire area and widespread damage to resorts on the Delmarva. The storm had formed
well out in the Atlantic, and
followed a fairly standard track toward the East Coast,
making landfall near Cape Hatteras early on August 23rd. It turned north, its center
staying west of Chesapeake Bay. All day, winds blew at 25-50 mph from an easterly
direction, building up devastating waves and tides at the Delaware shore.
At Bethany Beach, the boardwalk and streets were severely damaged, and drainage
systems were filled with sand. Rehoboth Beach suffered substantial property losses
and beach erosion. At Lewes, the water reached 6.4 feet above sea level - the only
other tropical system on record to push the water higher was Hurricane Gloria in 1985.