A Terrifying, Deadly Storm Struck Delaware In 1962… And No One Saw It Coming

Typically, March in Delaware is mild, with some snow, some rain, and some sunny days. Temperatures hover between the low 50s and high 30s, with 3 or 4 inches of rain or snow all month. Big blizzards are rare, and the occasional Nor’easter doesn’t usually cause much trouble for anyone other than maybe some afternoon commuters. March 1962 wasn’t supposed to start off any differently than March of 1961, or March of 1960… and so on.

In fact, the weather report for the first week of March 1962 stated that there was a chance of rain on Monday, and that Tuesday would be cool and cloudy. Late Monday night, meteorologists began calling for a Nor’easter, with some snow and light gusts. By daybreak on Tuesday, it was becoming clear that the winds were stronger, the tides were higher, and the storm was larger than anyone expected.

When the storm cleared on Friday, it was clear that this storm had been way more devastating than any storm before it.

The Ash Wednesday Storm of 1962, as it’s been called ever since, was the single most destructive storm that Delaware had ever seen, claiming 7 lives in Delaware alone and causing millions of dollars of property damage. Take a look at these pictures from the Delaware Archives and realize the great destruction that this wicked storm brought to the First State.

This storm was massive, powerful, and extremely destructive. Thankfully, storms like this are the exception rather than the rule in Delaware. Did you witness the storm and its aftermath? Tell us your stories in the comments.