Today, June 21st marks the 50th anniversary of the height of a weather disaster that brought a billion dollars of damage to our state. The remnants of what was once Hurricane Agnes stalled over the northeast and brought catastrophic flooding with up to 19″ of rainfall.

Hurricane Agness made landfall over the Panhandle of Florida during the afternoon of June 19th. The storm quickly diminished to a tropical depression by the morning of June 20th.

During the morning of June 21st, the tropical depression moved over the Carolinas with rainbands extending into the Northeast.

As the storm moved back over water off of the Mid-Atlantic coastline, it strengthened back into a tropical storm by June 22nd. Wind-driven heavy rainfall continued to fall across our state.

By June 23rd, the storm was no longer classified as tropical, but the tropical moisture and remnant low-pressure system merged with a trough in the jet stream and backed westward at a very slow pace. By this time, many locations already surpassed the record rainfall from the Great Flood of 1936.

On the 24th, the storm started to lose its identity and the rain subsided. Rivers continued to rise, reaching record levels.

Total rainfall reached over 6″ in at least one location in every state from Florida to New York. The heaviest rainfall fell from Maryland to New York. and the highest 5-day total was 19″ in Western Schuylkill County. Some places in Central PA reach over 10″.

The storm brought a billion dollars of damage back in 1972. This would be equivalent to almost $7 billion today. Scenes such as those below were common.

This June 23, 1972 file photo shows people being rescued by boat from their homes to dry ground after Hurricane Agnes forced the Susquehanna River to overflow its banks causing heavy flooding in Harrisburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Paul Vathis, File)

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