August 19 Anniversaries: A Look Back at Hurricane Bob and the 1955 Flood

August 19 marks the 30-year anniversary of Hurricane Bob, as well as the 66-year anniversary of Tropical Storm Diane and

Thirty years ago today, Hurricane Bob slammed into Block Island as a category 2 hurricane.

The worst of Bob's fury missed Connecticut but sustained, hurricane-force winds clipped New London County while more than six inches of rain drenched the rest of the state.

National Weather Service
Doppler radar at 11 AM EDT on August 19th 1991

About 250,000 Connecticut Light and Power customers lost power during Bob, and six Connecticut residents lost their lives. It registered an estimated $1.5 billion in damage.

But it's an older storm, which shares the same anniversary, that changed the landscape of Connecticut. Tropical Storm Diane hit on August 19, 1955.

Diane hit less than a week after the remnants of Tropical Storm Connie struck New England. Neither storm produced strong winds, but the rain was phenomenal, and it led to devastating flooding, killing 87 people.

Between 10 inches and 27 inches fell across Connecticut over the course of a week. The worst of the rain was concentrated in the northwest and northeast hills.


The 1955 floods destroyed entire neighborhoods, entire downtowns, and entire families. Waterbury, Winsted, Naugatuck, Derby, Ansonia, Farmington, New Hartford and Putnam are just some of the towns and cities that were changed forever.

The flood was the impetus for the state and federal government to install flood control measures, such as dams, across the most vulnerable rivers.

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