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Updated: September 20, 2019 @ 2:47 pm
Photos from The Richmond Times-Dispatch archive show the record James River flood of June 1972 and its aftermath.
Satellite view of Hurricane Agnes over the course of six days as the storm spun from the Gulf of Mexico to New York. Virginia received the heaviest rain on June 21, and the river flooding was most severe on June 22 and June 23.
Level of the James River at the Richmond Westham gauge during the Hurricane Agnes flood of June 1972. The river crested at 28.62 feet on June 23, nearly 17 feet above flood stage. That broke the record set by Hurricane Camille's flood in 1969. Downstream, the gauge at the City Locks also set a record with a 36.5 foot stage.
Rainfall totals along the East Coast as a result of Hurricane Agnes and its interaction with another disturbance. The highest totals occurred in Pennsylvania, but some parts of Virginia had more than 1 foot of rain from the storm.
Rainfall totals (in inches) from weather stations across the James River basin between June 19 and June 24, 1972. Up to 1 foot of rain fell in some parts of the Blue Ridge mountains, and that water flowed downstream to Richmond.
Track map of Hurricane Agnes from a joint USGS-NOAA report on the rainfall and flooding. The storm made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane in Florida's panhandle. The center passed to the east of Virginia at tropical storm intensity, but the very large circulation spread torrential rain all the way into the Appalachian Mountains.
It has been 45 years since the heavy rain from Hurricane Agnes caused the James River to flo…
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