HISTORY: Hurricane and Tropical Storms in Appalachia


While the mountains of SW VA and NE TN may be hundreds of miles away from the ocean, we are not immune to impacts here in Appalachia. Often, as a tropical system makes landfall, we see some wind and rain in our area. This is especially true if the system makes landfall along the Gulf Coast.

The rainfall associated with a tropical system can often bring flooding, especially to mountainous regions.

Many storms over the years have also passed through our region as a tropical storm, tropical depression or as the remnants of a tropical cyclone.

Two stand out as the most memorable. From 1915 to 2017, two tropical storms have passed through our region. Those were Hugo (1989) and Gracie (1959). Hugo is remembered by many around here because of the gusty winds in the mountains and the number of downed trees it brought.

From 1980 to 2017, the State of TN has seen impacts from four billion dollar disasters due to tropical cyclones. These include Tropical Storm Lee in 2011, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and Hurricane Opal in 1995.

Interested in more data? NOAA has a great site here which shows the track of all US land falling tropical systems.

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