Agnes drenches Chesterfield

“Hurricane Agnes was the first tropical storm and first hurricane of the 1972 Atlantic hurricane season. A rare June hurricane, it made landfall on the Florida Panhandle before moving northeastward and ravaging the Mid-Atlantic region as a tropical storm. The worst damage occurred along a swath from central Virginia through central Pennsylvania,” according to NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration).

The tropical storm hit Chesterfield this week in 1973. The Richmond News-Leader reported that flooding was severe enough that Chesterfield’s Board of Supervisors declared a state of emergency. Flood damage in the county was estimated at $800,000 and the industrial plants of Dupont, VEPCO’s Chesterfield power plant, and Lone Star Industries were hit extremely hard.

“Areas along the James, west of Richmond and east of the Blue Ridge Mountains received massive amounts of rainfall that exceeded the rains of Hurricane Camille three years prior. The river experienced five-hundred year flooding levels, inundating downtown Richmond and causing millions of dollars in damages,” according to City-Data.com.

The website also reports the cause of tropical storm flooding here: “Hurricanes have been the cause of most flooding during the summer and fall, particularly Hurricanes Connie and Diane in 1955, Hurricane Camille in August 1969, Hurricane Agnes in June 1972, and Hurricane Isabel in September 2003. On August 31, 2004, flooding instigated by Tropical Storm Gaston devastated the historic Shockoe Bottom District which lies along the James River.”

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