Crazy Facts About Hurricane Gloria

Written by Ls Cohen  |  21. November 2020

Below we present some facts about Hurricane Gloria that made its second landfall when it hit Long Island on September 27, 1985.

  • In 1985 there were 11 named storms during the Atlantic Hurricane Season
  • Hurricane Gloria was a powerful Cape Verde hurricane that formed on September 15, 1985 and tracked across the Atlantic through September 28
  • Cape Verde-type hurricanes are Atlantic basin tropical cyclones that develop into tropical storms fairly close of the Cape Verde Islands and then become hurricanes before reaching the Caribbean
  • There was a lot of hype in the media about Hurricane Gloria as it made its way up the East Coast
  • Hurricane Gloria was the first major storm to affect Long Island directly since Hurricane Donna in 1960
  • Gloria reached Category 4 status near the Bahamas, but weakened significantly by the time it made landfall on the Outer Banks
  • The storm was recorded to be 300 miles wide
  • Newsday estimated 30,000 people sought safety in shelters across Long Island
  • About 683,000 homes and businesses lost power, two-thirds of all LILCO customers
  • Some were without power for up to 11 days
  • Gloria had sustained winds of 85mph
  • Wind gusts reportedly reached over 100mph
  • One death on Long Island was directly attributed to the storm
  • According to Newsday, one-third of the NFL Jet’s 45 man roster, as well as some coaches, were forced to evacuate their homes on the South Shore due to the storm
  • The storm surge destroyed 48 houses on the ocean side of Long Island
  • Television executives worried that people would miss out on big program events that week due to loss of power including Dallas episode where Patrick Duffyt’s character Bobby Ewing came back to life in the season opener, and the 2-hour season three premiere of Miami Vice
  • Wind gusts reportedly ripped the roof off the Islip Police Station and the large hangers at MacArthur Airport
  • It was reported at the time that the stock exchanges and the World Trade Center were closed, and the torch of the Statue of Liberty was brought inside
  • You can watch original news reports about Hurricane Gloria on Eyewitness News on Saturday, Sept. 28, 1985 below:
  • The name Gloria was retired from the Atlantic tropical storm naming list and was replaced with Grace
  • It was reported that LILCO wanted to charge ratepayers for the $40 million storm repair bill
  • LILCO said it had no hurricane insurance and a storm reserve fund had no more money
  • LILCo’s lackluster and much criticized response to Hurricane Gloria helped to convince people that the power company could not effectively handle a disaster and helped hasten the demise of the Shoreham nuclear power plant
  • Service to 96% of telephone customers on Long Island was not interrupted, according to a report, because the lines were buried underground beginning in the 1970s

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