Anyone that has lived in New England for some period of time knows that our weather can be unpredictable. The regional saying, “if you don’t like the weather just wait 10 minutes” might be humorous, but definitely has some truth to it. There have been a few storms throughout our state’s history that have been far worse than anyone could have imagined. Here are 7 horrifying disasters that occurred in Rhode Island.
1. Storm of October 1804
This historical disaster tore through New England claiming the lives of seventeen people. The incredible amount of snow, and cyclone force winds were a devastation to farm land, homes, and anything else in the storm's path.
2. The Great Coastal Hurricane of 1806
2. The early 1800s were an intense time in terms of fatal storms to hit Little Rhody. This 1806 hurricane traveled as far as the Bahamas and North Carolina before lingering just off Cape Cod where it severely damaged several ships.
3. The Great September Gale of 1815
The word hurricane had yet to be be invented at the time of this storm. Called a Great Gale, this terrible disaster took the lives of at least 38 people and was formerly known as one of the top 5 deadliest storms from the year 1635 onward.
4. The Great New England Hurricane of 1938
This tropical cyclone storm remains one of the deadliest and most devastating storms of all time. It destroyed over 57,000 homes and claimed the lives of more than 600 people before dissipating over Canada.
5. Hurricane Cindy, 1959
Hurricane Cindy was the third storm of the season in 1959, but also the most devastating. While the structure damage and lives were not as bad as the other storms on this list, Hurricane Cindy greatly impacted Rhode Islanders and was considered one of the worst storms for several decades.
6. December 1960 Nor'easter
This massive storm caused snowfall all the way from West Virginia to Maine and included dangerously strong winds, and extreme colds. The loss of over 200 lives stemming from various accidents is blamed on this intense early winter storm.
7. Hurricane Sandy, 2012
Most Rhode Islanders have their own story involving their experience with Hurricane Sandy. While the storm did cause significant property damage, Rhode Island was just one of many places affected by this devastating force. More than 200 lives were lost across 8 countries and 24 states in the US alone were affected.