The First Hurricane in 180 Years Slams Into CT on Sept. 23,1815
It was the morning of Sept. 23, 1815, when a monstrous storm crashed into the southern coast of Connecticut.
By today's standards, this beast of a storm was considered a Category 3 hurricane packing sustained winds over 110 mph as the eye of the storm crashed into Long Island, NY, around 7 a.m. It then moved eastward along Connecticut's southern coastline, where it pounded the shoreline of Old Saybrook at around 9 a.m.
It was known back in those days as the "Great Storm" or the 'Great September Gale' according to hurricanescience.org. This mother of a storm left Connecticut's shoreline communities devastated because of the high winds. Crops were decimated, and thousands of livestock were killed.
All in all, the 'Gale' swamped the coastlines of five states with storm surges up to 15 feet. From Long Island to New Hampshire, high winds demolished houses and churches and leveled forests while turning harbors to matchsticks, according to the website, slate.com.
It was Providence, Rhode Island that received the real ferocity of the storm as the 12 -14-foot storm surge sent homes and stores into the floodwaters according to the website, newenglandhistoricalsociety.com.
The most astounding effect of the September Gale was the tide in Stonington, CT, rose 17 feet, which devoured the town, washing away the piers and all 20 boats leaving the city in ruins. Saltwater was pushed 40 miles into the countryside. Houses turned white, and wine grapes ended up tasting like salt. 'The September Gale' or known today as a Category 3 hurricane, happened on this day, Sept. 23, 1815. On September 21, 1938, one of the worst hurricanes in New England's hit hard.