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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Main Street Station, Hurricane Agnes - 1972

Here's a fitting post for this rainy Wednesday morning...Main Street Station at the height of the flooding from Hurricane Agnes in June of 1972. This shot was taken from the I-95 bridge. As a result of Agnes, the James River crested at a peak of 36.5 feet, flooding parts of downtown Richmond (the flood wall wasn't completed until 1995).

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.


Photo from the 1972 book Hurricane Agnes…The Richmond Flood

6 comments:

  1. Crazy! The remnants of Agnes caused the Flood of 1972 in my hometown in upstate NY (Portville). The dikes protected the main part of town from the worst of it (the flood waters were only 8-10 feet high I think), but other parts of town were devastated. Of course, this was two years before I was born and seven years before my family moved there.

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  2. This was the year our son was born and I had to go to an army truck to get water, over in Byrd park.

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  3. I vividly remember this flood. My family and I lived in Fulton Bottom at the time. We stayed with friends that lived on Church Hill. I remember looking down atop what is Chimborazo Park at nothing but water for as far my eyes could see. I was born in 1966 and this was my first memory of such an event. To this day it still amazes me to see the aftermath of nature.

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  4. What's even more amazing is that the Agnes flood in '72 was a worse version of the hurricane Camille flood that devastated the very same area only three years earlier (1969). Hard to believe two "100 year floods" could ravage the same area in the span of so few years. My father (may peace be upon him) nearly got stuck on the north side of the river trying to get home from work (we lived on the south side in the Granite Hills/Westover hills area) - and as the flood waters were rising quickly - all the bridges were one by one being shut down. I don't remember if he managed to get through via the (at the time 'new' Manchester Bridge or if the RMA-I-195 bridge was yet open (I want to say that didn't open until 1975) - but somehow he just got home before all the bridges were closed. We lived maybe a half to three quarters of a mile or so from the river itself - and i can CLEARLY remember standing in the upstairs hallway on the north side of our house - with the window open - and HEARING the roar of the floodwaters as they stormed down the James. For a 10 year old - believe me, that was quite an epic experience! One final thought - I'll never forget legendary traffic helicopter reporter Howard Bloom (may peace be upon him) and his famous description of the events on WRVA - "it's Richmond against the river, and right now, the river is winning."

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  5. I can not even begin to express how much I miss seeing a new blog post on Vintage Richmond!

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  6. I miss them too! If I'm not mistaken, that's the corner of what is now the Canal Club on the bottom right.

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