Today would have been my grandfather Wilbur Dunning’s 123rd birthday.
Today is also the anniversary of a hurricane named for my friend Bob. Hurricane Bob was one of the costliest hurricanes in New England history. Bob curved up into the Atlantic as a tropical storm but re-curved to the north-northeast and brushed the Outer Banks after becoming a hurricane. Bob intensified into a Cat 3 with sustained winds of 115 mph but weakened slightly before making landfall twice in Rhode Island as a Cat 2 on August 19.
The storm did $1.5 billion damage throughout New England making it the second costliest US hurricane at the time. That’s 1991 dollars; it would be $2.53 billion in today’s currency so thanks to inflation it ranked only twenty-second in the category by 2010.
Bob also killed seventeen. The loss of life and most of the damage occurred as a result of high winds and rough seas. There were six confirmed tornadoes during its passage.
Bob’s track by this date was similar to that of Hurricane Carol in 1954, another major hurricane that impacted New England.
Bob and Carol? I’m hoping we avoid Ted and Alice.