The Hurricanes of the 1955 Season in Virginia and North Carolina
The 1955 hurricane season was the pinnacle season for landfalling tropical cyclones in Virginia and North Carolina. A total of three storms made landfall in that season. Hurricanes Connie and Ione made landfall as Category 3 hurricanes while Hurricane Diane was of Category 1 intensity. The three storms combined to produce over 300 million dollars in damages for the state of North Carolina, making 1955 the costliest year for natural disasters in North Carolina until 1996. Hurricane Diame weakened to a tropical storm over interior North Carolina and went on the become the first "billion-dollar" hurricane in the Northeastern United States. Floods setting 100-year records raged throughout Pennsylvania....New York...Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Hurricane Connie - August 12-13, 1955
Hurricane Connie developed in the vicinity of the Cape Verde Islands on August 2, 1955. Connie tracked westward over the Atlantic for the next 5 days, bypassing the windward islands to the north on August 7th. The storm steadily intensified to a Strong Category 3 intensity hurricane on August 8th while centered several hundred miles to the northeast of the Bahamas. The storm began turning more to the northwest and threatened to assume a classic track along the East Coast of the United States. An upper level low developing off the Florida coast on August 9th changed this scenario and pulled Connie westward on the north side of the system on August 9th and 10th. At the same time the forward speed of the storm slowed to less than 5 mph.
Hurricaen Watches went out for the Carolinas and anxious residents waited to see what the large storm would do next. An upper level trough sweeping out of the Midwest turned the storm to the north along 75 West.