Hurricane Opal

Infobox Hurricane
Name=Hurricane Opal
Type=hurricane
Year=1995
Basin=Atl
Image location=Hurricane Opal 03 oct 1995 2012Z.jpg


Formed=September 27, 1995
Dissipated=October 6, 1995
1-min winds=130
Pressure=916
Da

Inflated=0
Fatalities=59 direct, 10 indirectFact|date=March 2007
Areas=Guatemala, Yucatán Peninsula, Alabama, Florida Panhandle, Georgia, most of eastern North America
Hurricane season=1995 Atlantic hurricane season

Hurricane Opal was a major hurricane that formed in the Gulf of Mexico in September 1995. "weather.com - Storm Encyclopedia" (section "Hurricane Opal"), Weather.com, 2007, webpage: [http://www.weather.com/encyclopedia/tropical/archive/1995/storms.html WeatherCom-1995-storms] .] Opal was the 9th hurricane of the abnormally active 1995 Atlantic hurricane season. It crossed the Yucatán Peninsula while still a tropical depression from September 27, then strengthened northward in the Gulf, becoming the most powerful Category 4 Atlantic hurricane before making a second landfall, October 4, in the Florida Panhandle near Pensacola as a 115-mph (185-km/h) hurricane. Opal devastated the Pensacola/Panhandle area with a 15-ft (5-m) storm surge and travelled up the entire state of Alabama, becoming a tropical storm in Tennessee. Opal also caused heavy damage in the mid-Atlantic states before dissipating.

Afterward, 50 people had died from flooding by Opal in Guatemala and Mexico, with another 13 deaths in the United States directly or indirectly related to Opal. Preliminary damage estimates were $3 billion.

The name "Opal" was retired in 1996, replaced by "Olga" for the 2001 season.

Meteorological history

storm path|Opal 1995 track.png The tropical wave that would become Hurricane Opal emerged from the west coast of Africa on September 11. The wave would stay disorganized, and did not begin strengthening until it neared the Yucatán Peninsula, becoming a tropical depression on September 27 while 70 nautical miles (130 km) south-southeast of Cozumel. The depression slowly moved over the Yucatán for the next several days, eventually emerging over the Bay of Campeche, where it was officially upgraded to Tropical Storm Opal.

After languishing for days and nearly dissipating due to the ocean-cooling effect of its own rainfall, it rapidly intensified to a hurricane and began moving north across the Gulf of Mexico. It deepened to a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 150 mph (242 km/h) and a central pressure of 916 mbar (the lowest ever recorded in a hurricane that never reached Category 5 intensity), possibly due to crossing the Loop Current.

During this period of rapid strengthening, a small eye formed with a diameter of only about 6 miles (9.7 km). The hurricane then underwent an eyewall replacement cycle to a 60-mile (97-km) eye, combined with increasing wind shear, causing the pressure to rise steadily over the next 8 hours to 940 mb as the maximum sustained winds diminished to 125 mph (200 km/h). Opal weakened still to 115 mph (185 km/h) before its final landfall in Santa Rosa Island, Florida on October 4.

Opal remained a hurricane for nearly 12 hours after landfall, its rapid forward speed propelling it the entire length of Alabama before being downgraded to a tropical storm as it crossed into Tennessee. Over the following 12 hours, it was not downgraded to a tropical depression until it reached Ohio, and not declared extratropical until reaching Canada, where it still managed to bring squally conditions.

Preparations

Only four before-landfall watches and warnings were released in accordance with Hurricane Opal.cite web
author=National Hurricane Center
year=1996
title=Hurricane Opal Prelimary Report
publisher=National Hurricane Center
accessdate=2007-08-17
url=http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/1995opal.html
] The first was on September 30 for the Northeast portion of the Yucatán Peninsula from Cozumel and Cancun to Progreso. This warning was discontinued late the next day. The second was a tropical storm warning issued on October 3 for Morgan City, Louisiana to just west of Pensacola, Florida. A hurricane warning was issued for Mobile, Alabama to Anclote Key, Florida on October 4. This one warning was extended from Mobile, Alabama westward to the Mouth of the Mississippi River including coastal Mississippi. They were extended yet again for Grand Isle, Louisiana westward to just east of Morgan City, Louisiana including Metropolitan New Orleans. All remaining coastal watches and warnings were discontinued on October 5 at 500 UTC.

The post-landfall watches and warnings released in accordance with Opal were a flash flood warning released on October 5 for portions of Alabama, Northern Georgia, the western parts of North Carolina and South Carolina. The warning also included eastern Tennessee. A flash flood watch was also in effect for portions of the Upper Ohio Valley, the Mid-Atlantic region, the central Appalachians and the lower Great Lakes. Wind warnings were in effect for northwestern South Carolina all the way to western New York.cite web
author=Hydrometeorological Prediction Center
year=1995
title=Hydrometeorolgical Prediction Center Advisory 1
publisher=Hydrometeorological Prediction Center
accessdate=2007-08-17
url=http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/storm_wallets/atlantic/atl1995/opal/public/nss0517z.gif
] A gale watch was also in effect for Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and the southern sections of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Six hours later, the gale warnings over Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and the southern sections of the St. Lawrence Seaway was upgraded into a storm warning for Erie alone. The gale warning for the other two sections remained the same. The shoreline of Lake Erie was under a beach erosion warning from Buffalo, New York to Ripley, New York.cite web
author=Hydrometeorological Prediction Center
year=1995
title=Hydrometeorolgical Prediction Center Advisory 2
publisher=Hydrometeorological Prediction Center
accessdate=2007-08-17
url=http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/storm_wallets/atlantic/atl1995/opal/public/nss0523z.gif
] The Storm Prediction Center released a tornado watch on northern and central New Jersey, portions of New York and Connecticut on October 6.cite web
author=Hydrometeorological Prediction Center
year=1995
title=Hydrometeorolgical Prediction Center Advisory 3
publisher=Hydrometeorological Prediction Center
accessdate=2007-08-17
url=http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/storm_wallets/atlantic/atl1995/opal/public/nss0605z.gif
]

Significant non-surge areas of Escambia County south of US 98 are currently included in evacuation areas because of the potential for isolation by flooding.cite web
author=U.S. Army
year=1995
title=Hazards and Vulnerability Data
publisher=U.S. Army
accessdate=2007-08-17
url=http://chps.sam.usace.army.mil/USHESdata/Assessments/opal/chapter_2.htm
]

Impact

Mexico and Central America

Damage here was largely attributed to rainfall. Because Opal stalled on the coast of Mexico for several days as a weak tropical storm, flooding was reported across the country, killing 31 people in Guatemala and 19 in Mexico. Rain from the system produced flooding in Tabasco, Campeche, portions of Chiapas, Quintana Roo, and Yucatán. [http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/storm_wallets/atlantic/atl1995/opal/news/mexico.gifMarilyn news (In spanish)] ]

Florida

About convert|200|mi|km of Florida’s coastline felt effects from Hurricane Opal. [http://www.geocities.com/hurricanene/hurricaneopal.htm Geocities Article on Hurricane Opal] ]

Rainfalls in Florida peaked at convert|15.45|in|mm in Ellyson, convert|7.27|in|mm at Pensacola, convert|6.64|in|mm at Hurlburt Field and lower in over eight different locations. The highest gust recorded was a convert|145|mi/h|km/h|abbr=on gust at Hurlburt Field. Lower gusts were convert|115|mph|km/h at Eglin Air Force Base and an convert|88|mi/h|km/h|abbr=on gust at Pensacola P.N.S. The highest sustained winds were convert|84|mi/h|km/h|abbr=on at Hurburt Field and convert|80|mi/h|km/h|abbr=on at Eglin Air Force Base. The two reported storm surges were convert|5|ft|m to convert|6|ft|m above normal at Apalachicola and convert|2|ft|m to convert|4|ft|m above normal at Sarasota. [http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/1995opal.html Preiliminary Report: Hurricane Opal] ] Opal brought heavy surge to the area, convert|8|ft|m to convert|15|ft|m in some areas, comparing itself to Hurricane Eloise, which struck the same area at near equal strength in 1975.

Opal caused about US$3 billion (1995 dollars) in damage, making it the third costliest hurricane at the time. Most of the structural damage occurred near the coastline on the Florida Peninsula, due to intense surge. Amazingly enough, nearly a mile of U. S. Highway 98 near Eglin Air Force Base was completely destroyed. The pavement was nearly replaced by mounds of sand left behind after storm surge. [ [http://www.geocities.com/hurricanene/hurricaneopal.htm Hurricane Opal 1995 ] ] Opal also spawned an F2 tornado that killed a young woman in Florida. None died as a direct result of storm surge. This is quite unusual, considering the strength and landfall location of Opal. Okaloosa Island, Fort Walton Beach, was overwhelmed by storm surge. Numerous homes were under convert|3|ft|m to convert|10|ft|m of water. Residents were not allowed to return to the island until the homes could be secured from looters. Although a bus tour was arranged by the county so home owners could ‘see’ the damage, but were not allowed off the bus. Looters were found crossing the bay on boats and surfboard, it was feared that some were armed. Sand dunes along the stretch of I-98, normally convert|25|ft|m high, were removed by wind and surge. Where once the ocean was obscured from view by the dunes for miles, a flat open space opened up along U. S. Highway 98.

U.S. Gulf Coast

The peak rainfall from Opal in Alabama was convert|19.42|in|mm three miles east-northeast of Brewton, Alabama. [David M. Roth. [http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/tropical/rain/opal1995filledrainblk.gifHurricane Opal color-filled, black background rainfall graphic.] Retrieved on 2008-02-24.] Lesser amounts include convert|7.48|in|mm in Mobile and convert|6.1|in|mm in Anniston. The highest gust reported was a convert|95|mph|km/h gust in Fort Rucker and a secondary one at Maxwell Air Force Base with a gust of convert|90|mph|km/h. The highest sustained winds reported from Opal was convert|75|mph|km/h at Fort Rucker, convert|55|mph|km/h in downtown Mobile and convert|47|mph|km/h at Maxwell Air Force Base and Montgomery.

Numerous downed trees across much of the Southeastern United States left over 2 million without power. Alabama reported that 476,000 people were without power, which was a record at the time. This record number of power outages was beaten by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. [http://www.oe.netl.doe.gov/docs/ivan/hurrivan_sitrept_091704_1600.pdf Hurricane Ivan Situation Report #4] ] Damage was heavy all the way inland to Montgomery where winds reached convert|90|mph|km/h.

Highest rainfalls in Mississippi were convert|5|in|mm throughout the eastern side of the state with lower amounts going westward. Tropical storm winds were reported along the Gulf Coast during the afternoon and early evening of October 4. Wind damage was mainly limited to downed tree limbs, power lines, and signs. Property damage cost estimated. One minor injury was reported in Harrison County due to flying debris. Damage in Mississippi totaled up to USD $75 thousand. [http://www4.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-win/wwcgi.dll?wwevent~ShowEvent~217580 Event-Hurricane Opal-: 04 Oct 1995, 0200 CST] ]

In Louisiana, the only significant wind damage occurred in extreme south Plaquemines Parish where winds were estimated around convert|60|mph|km/h with gusts to hurricane force, with wind damage reported to some mobile homes and roofs of a few other structures. Tropical storm force winds, were reported in extreme south Lafourche Parish and Jefferson Parish, as well as extreme east St. Bernard Parish. Property damage cost estimated. Tides were generally convert|2|ft|m above normal in Lake Pontchartrain, and three to five feet above normal along the southeast Louisiana coast from Grand Isle eastward. Some low-lying coastal roads were flooded.

Approximately 10,000 people evacuated from the southern, or lower portions, of Plaquemines, St. Bernard, Lafourche, and Jefferson Parishes. The only significant gathering of persons in public shelters occurred in Plaquemines Parish, where 1,600 people were placed in public shelters.

Although no direct injuries occurred from the hurricane, an indirect injury is attributed to the hurricane in a freak accident. A Jefferson Parish employee was injured while attempting to lower a large flag on October 4. The employee, who was holding onto a rope attached a flag, was tossed high into the air, and suffered severe injuries when he fell back to the ground. Total damage in Louisiana totaled out to US$200,000 (1995 dollars). [http://www4.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-win/wwcgi.dll?wwevent~ShowEvent~212824 Event- Hurricane Opal- 04 Oct 1995, 2400 CST] ]

Breaking swells from Opal in Texas caused water to spill across at the usual wash-over points which damaged several vehicles. [http://www4.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-win/wwcgi.dll?wwevent~ShowEvent~245279 Event- Beach Flood- 04 Oct 1995, 0800 CDT] ]

Southeastern United States

The peak rainfall in Georgia was 8.66 inches (220 mm) in Marietta, 8.08 (205 mm) in Peachtree City and 7.17 (182 mm) in west Atlanta. Southern Georgia only reported 1-3 inches (25-76 mm) of rain, while the northern part of the state reached about 5-7 inches (127-178 mm). The peak wind gust in Georgia was a 79-mph (127 km/h) gust in Marietta, a 70-mph (113-km/h) gust in Columbus, and a 56-mph (90-km/h) gust in the Atlanta-Hartsfield area. [http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/techrpts/tr9502/tr9502.pdf Hurricane Opal Technological Report] ] High winds in Rabun County caused USD $5.0 million from the approach of Opal on October 5. The damage was worst in Rabun County where numerous trees were blown down. The wind damage was described as being worse than the Superstorm of 1993. Power was out for some people for at least a week. [http://www4.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-win/wwcgi.dll?wwevent~ShowEvent~203045 Event-High Winds- 05 Oct 1995, 0300 EST] ] More than 4000 trees were knocked down within the city of Atlanta alone. These trees fell across roads, and on power lines, homes, mobile homes, and automobiles. More than a half a dozen people were injured from falling trees in the early morning hours of October 5. There were more than 1200 telephone poles knocked down and almost 5,000 power lines snapped. Power crews from surrounding states helped to restore power to many, however, thousands of residences remained without power through the weekend.

An 80-foot (24-m) gash was torn out of Interstate 285 between Roswell Road and the Glenridge Connector in Atlanta. Schools were closed on October 5 and October 6 throughout the cities of Atlanta, Marietta, and in Fulton, Coweta, Carroll and Douglas counties. A total of 47 of 101 schools were closed in Dekalb County alone. Four state parks were closed after Opal: Moccasin Creek Park, Black Rock Mountain, Vogel State Park, and Fort Mountain State Park. 273 stations reported many falling traffic lights. Agricultural experts estimated that damage to the pecan crop was about USD $50.0 million. Several rivers and creeks overflowed their banks. [http://www4.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-win/wwcgi.dll?wwevent~ShowEvent~202520 Event - Thunderstorm Winds - Oct 1995, 0600 EST] ] Beginning the evening of October 4, numerous power outages were reported in metro Atlanta, where sustained tropical storm conditions overnight (including gusts to nearly 70 mph;110 km/h) felled thousands of trees. Oaks were particularly susceptible, as their root systems were loosened by nearly two days included in a major disaster area. [http://www.gema.state.ga.us/ohsgemaweb.nsf/1b4bb75d6ce841c88525711100558b9d/db2ec570e12867288525715d0065d15b/$FILE/Preparedness%20Bullentin%20%232.pdf Preparedness Bulletin #2] ]

Fourteen deaths were reported in Georgia alone.

A seven inch (178 mm) rainfall was recorded in extreme northwestern South Carolina and came in reducing amounts around the rest of the state. [http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/tropical/rain/opal1995.html Rainfall Totals: Hurricane Opal] ] Heavy rainfalls closed roads and bridges, causing $24 million in crop and property damage. [http://www4.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-win/wwcgi.dll?wwevent~ShowEvent~238257 Event- Flash Flood- 05 Oct 1995, 0200 EST] ]

A tornado in Chesterfield, South Carolina caused many trees to be blown down in theCarolina Sandhill National Wildlife Refuge. Trees were blown down in Orangeburg, one of those trees fell onto a car and totaled it. An F0 tornado spawned by one of Opal's bands downed a number of trees and power lines. Campers, vehicles, structures and boats were damaged in Greenville. [http://www.dnr.sc.gov/climate/sco/torn_stat_9096.html Significant Tornadoes in South Carolina1990-2001] ]

In North Carolina, over convert|17|in|mm of rain fell. The rainfall included convert|9.89|in|mm in Robinson Creek and convert|8.95|in|mm in Highlands. The Robinson Creek rains spwaned flash flooding. [http://repository.wrclib.noaa.gov/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1002&context=nws_tech_memos Tropical Cyclones Affecting North Carolina] ] Officials in the state had the citizens boil their water before drinking it because of a possibility that floodwater may have entered purification plants. [http://www.thehurricanearchive.com/Viewer.aspx?
] ] A landslide triggered by Opal and damaged the Blue Ridge Parkway. [http://www.geology.enr.state.nc.us/Landslide_Info/Landslides_example_historical_events.htm Geologic hazards in North Carolina — Landslides] ] Opal triggered a debris flow in the Poplar Cove area of Macon County. [http://gsa.confex.com/gsa/2005SE/finalprogram/abstract_83451.htm PRELIMINARY FINDINGS OF THE SEPTEMBER 16, 2004 DEBRIS FLOW AT PEEKS CREEK, MACON COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA] ] A flash flood from rainfall amounts typically ranged from four to six inches (152 mm) and closed roads and bridges were the result. The most serious flooding apparently occurred in Avery County where evacuations were required and tanks of propane were found floating in the Banner Elk River. [http://www4.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-win/wwcgi.dll?wwevent~ShowEvent~227056 Event- Flash Flood- 05 Oct 1995, 0600 EST] ]

Three deaths also occurred in the state. A man in Candler was killed when a falling tree destroyed his mobile home. Another man was killed near Marshall when a tree was blown onto him while he was helping cut other trees out of the roadway. 10 people were also injured by wind blown debris and from falling trees. Damage from high winds totaled up to $15 million. [http://www4.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-win/wwcgi.dll?wwevent~ShowEvent~226577 Event-High Winds-05 Oct 1995, 0300 EST] ]

Mid-Atlantic United States

In Virginia, trees in the Shenandoah Valley and along the Allegheny Plateau were blown down by convert|40|mi/h|km/h|abbr=on winds at higher elevations. Over 7000 people were without power and damage in Virginia totaled to $5000. The National Park Service reported dozens of trees blown down along Skyline Drive in two counties. [http://www4.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-win/wwcgi.dll?wwevent~ShowEvent~251320 Event- High Winds- 05 Oct 1995, 1400 EST] ]

In the Great Smoky Mountains, power and phone service were out in many areas of the park. Newfound Gap road closed for several days due to trees and a rockslide that were lying across it. Campers were asked to leave Elkmont Campground near Gatlinburg because of high water. [http://www.backcountry.net/arch/at/9510/msg00030.html Hurricane Opal Damage in the Smokies] ]

Many sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway are closed because of trees that have fallen across the road. Flooding has occurred in the northern portion of the parkway. Linville Falls has been evacuated; the Asheville and Gillespie Gap Districts are closed. Rockslides and mudslides had also been reported due to Opal.

In West Virginia, 0.5-1.5 inches of rain were reported causing some schools to let out early. [http://www4.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-win/wwcgi.dll?wwevent~ShowEvent~252342 Event- Heavy Rain- 05 Oct 1995, 0500 EST] ] High winds associated with the remnants of Opal moved through southeast West Virginia on the 5th. High winds ranged between 35 and convert|45|mi/h|km/h|abbr=on with some gusts to near convert|55|mi/h|km/h|abbr=on. A numerous amount of trees, large branches and power lines and ripped shingles off the roof of homes were ripped off in the wind. The vast majority of damage occurred at elevations above two thousand feet. Damage from the wind totaled out to $2000. [http://www4.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-win/wwcgi.dll?wwevent~ShowEvent~252396 Event- High Winds- 05 Oct 1995, 1030 EST] ] Large limbs were downed by high wind across from the remnants of Hurricane Opal in Preston County. Damage there totaled out to $1000. [http://www4.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-win/wwcgi.dll?wwevent~ShowEvent~252135 Event- High Winds- 05 Oct 1995, 1200 EST] ] Damage in West Virginia totaled out to only $5,000.

In Maryland, a large tree and its limbs along Interstate 495 near Bittinger were downed by high winds associated with the remnants of Opal. The damage from the fallen tree and its limbs totaled out to one thousand dollars. [http://www4.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-win/wwcgi.dll?wwevent~ShowEvent~214120 Event- High Winds- 05 Oct 1995, 1200 EST] ] As Opal weakened over land into a mesocyclone moving into Maryland, it spawned three tornadoes in Charles, Prince Georges, and Anne Arundel County. The first tornado tracked along State Route 425 between the towns of Ironside and Grayton. Along the tornado's path, several trees were uprooted or snapped; two sheds were destroyed and two others sustained roof damage. Windows were blown out of a barn and several vehicles. Ten thousand dollars in damage occurred. [http://www4.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-win/wwcgi.dll?wwevent~ShowEvent~214047 Event- Tornado- 05 Oct 1995, 1935 EST] ] The second and strongest tornado hit ground in Temple Hills, injuring 3 people after reaching a peak wind of 150 mph (242 km/h). 100 homes were damaged with 15 being condemned. The Potomac Electric Power reported 9000 people without power. Damage from the second tornado totaled out to $5 million. [http://www4.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-win/wwcgi.dll?wwevent~ShowEvent~214321 Event-Tornado-05 Oct 1995, 1959 EST] ] The third and final tornado touched down in Odenton, became an F1 tornado and doing $250,000 in damage to the area. Eleven houses were damaged and about 10,000 people were without power in the whole district that the Baltimore Gas and Electric serves. [http://www4.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-win/wwcgi.dll?wwevent~ShowEvent~213934 Event- Tornado- 05 Oct 1995, 2031 EST] ]

Central United States

In Tennessee, rainfalls included about 3 to 5 inches (76-127 mm) in the central part of the state, one inch (25 mm) at the western part of the state and 3 to 5 in (76-127 mm) in the eastern part of the state.

Wind speeds at the higher elevations of the Appalachian Mountains were recorded at 70 mph (113 km/h) whereas 40-50 mph (64-80 km/h) gusts were more common at the lower elevations. Trees and power lines were down over much of the region. Over 70 miles (113 km) of the Appalachian Trail were closed due to trees being down. A total of over 20,000 people were without power from Opal's wrath. The most damage occurred in Hamilton County, which had damage was estimated over a total of $1 million. Damage in Hamilton County include a circus was left stranded at a campground and needed to be evacuated. A number of residences and businesses were also surrounded by water and occupants were to be evacuated. Total damage in Tennessee totaled out at USD $2.02 million. [http://www4.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-win/wwcgi.dll?wwevent~ShowEvent~240644 Event- High Winds- 05 Oct 1995, 0030 EST] ]

In Kentucky, 1 to 5 inches (25-127 mm) of rain was reported throughout the state from Opal. Total rainfall across the county ranged from 2.4 inches (61 mm) at the Louisville International Airport to 3.5 inches (89 mm) at Fern Creek Road south of the Gene Snyder Freeway. Several trees were knocked down and soils were saturated after Opal passed through. [http://www4.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-win/wwcgi.dll?wwevent~ShowEvent~211779 Event- Gradient Winds- 05 Oct 1995, 0800 EDT] ] A bridge washed out over Sulphur Creek and minor flooding was reported across Kentucky Route 80. [http://www4.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-win/wwcgi.dll?wwevent~ShowEvent~211778 Event-Flash Flood- 5 Oct 1995, 0700 EDT] ] Elizabethtown and the Fort Knox area had several roads closed after Opal washed them out. [http://www4.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-win/wwcgi.dll?wwevent~ShowEvent~211323 Event-Flash Flood- 05 Oct 1995, 0600 EDT] ]

In Michigan, Opal produced 2 to 3 inches (51-76 mm) of rain over the Middle Rouge River Basin from late afternoon through the evening on the 5th. As a result, the Middle Rouge River crested one foot over flood stage, causing the Edward Hines Drive to be closed off to traffic. [http://www4.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-win/wwcgi.dll?wwevent~ShowEvent~215832 Event- River Flood- 05 Oct 1995, 2000 EST] ]

High winds associated with the remains of Hurricane Opal affected the area during the late afternoon and early evening on the 5th. Strong northeast winds destroyed a new 200-foot (61-m), two-story pole barn on the Marine City Highway in Marine City. The storm also cut power to several areas, resulting in some school closings. The maximum wind gust at Detroit Metro Airport was a 38-mph (61-km/h) gust, which was from the northeast. The damage from this incident totaled out to $15,000. [http://www4.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-win/wwcgi.dll?wwevent~ShowEvent~215760 Event- High Winds- 05 Oct 1995, 1600 EST] ]

The remnants of Opal passed across northeast Ohio and caused wind gusts up to 45 mph (72 km/h) and sustained winds of 20 to 30 mph (32-48 km/h) all across northern Ohio. Several automobiles were damaged by falling trees or limbs. Crops were damaged from the strong winds. A number of farms reported fields of corn blown over and ripe apples and other fruit being stripped from trees. Rainfall of 3.4 inches (86 mm) in less than 24 hours was measured at Mansfield, and most areas averaged 1.5 to 2.5 inches (38-64 mm) during the same period. Flooding was localized and not significant since very dry conditions preceded the storm. [http://www4.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-win/wwcgi.dll?wwevent~ShowEvent~229044 Event- High Winds- 05 Oct 1995, 0900 EST] ]

Sustained northeast winds ahead of the storm reached 55 mph (89 km/h) all across the lake with gusts to 70 mph (113 km/h) producing waves of 10 to 14 feet (3-4.3 m). Minor to moderate beach and shore erosion occurred in many areas, especially the western end of the lake. Localized flooding occurred in communities with low lying areas along the lake. Boats were also grounded. Damage in Ohio totaled out to $205,000. [http://www4.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-win/wwcgi.dll?wwevent~ShowEvent~229045 Event- High Winds- 05 Oct 1995, 0900 EST] ]

Northeastern United States

In New Jersey, thunderstorms with heavy rain, averaging around 3.5 inches (89 mm) countywide, caused flooding of small streams and roadways including United States Route 46. The heavy rain was represented as the first significant dent in the drought that has affected northern New Jersey since September 1994. Storm totals included 6.7 inches (170 mm) in Waywayanda, 5.3 (135 mm) in Hackettstown, 4.5 inches (114 mm) in Oak Ridge, 4.2 inches (107 mm) in Clinton and 4.10 inches (104 mm) in Pequannock.

The remnants of Opal caused severe thunderstorm uprooted trees near Belvidere. Trees and wires were down in scattered parts of the county including Route 57 near the Tri-county Firehouse. Downed wires caused power outages in Hackettstown and Mansfield Township. [http://www4.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-win/wwcgi.dll?wwevent~ShowEvent~223098 Event- Thunderstorm Winds- 05 Oct 1995, 2355 EST] ]

The remnants of Hurricane Opal passed over northwest Pennsylvania on Thursday night (5th/6th) and caused wind gusts up to 50 mph (80 km/h) and sustained winds of 20 to 30 mph (32-48 km/h). Heavy rains accompanied the storm and averaged 1.5 to 2.5 inches (38-64 mm). Flooding was localized and not significant since drought conditions preceded the storm. The prolonged period of strong winds brought down trees and limbs along with some power lines. At least one automobile was damaged by a downed tree in Erie. Several farms reported fields of corn blown down and apples and other fruit being stripped from trees. The actual crop damage estimate was unknown. [http://www4.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-win/wwcgi.dll?wwevent~ShowEvent~236485 Event- Heavy Rain- 05 Oct 1995, 1200 EST] ]

The remnants of Opal passed just to the west of Buffalo, New York on October 5 and 6. Two to 3 inches (38-64 mm) of rain fell over much of the area with isolated amounts of near four inches (102 mm) over parts of the Western Southern Tier. Sustained winds were estimated between 35 and 40 mph (56-64 km/h), but the easterly winds did down some trees and power lines. In Oneida County, the high winds downed trees and wires in New York Mills, Waterville, Sylvan Beach, North Bay, Lee Center, Rome, McConnellsville and Verona. In Saratoga County a large tree limb was downed in Saratoga Springs which damaged four cars. Total damage in New York totaled to $35,000. [http://www4.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-win/wwcgi.dll?wwevent~ShowEvent~224542 Event- High Winds- 05 Oct 1995, 1925 EST] ] [http://www4.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-win/wwcgi.dll?wwevent~ShowEvent~224793 Event- High Winds- 05 Oct 1995, 2300 EST] ]

A low pressure area which used to be Opal moved across Western and Northern New York late and into Vermont on the night of October 5 and the morning October 6. Damaging winds occurred across parts of Central and Northern Vermont but especially along the western slopes of the Green Mountains. Damaging winds downed trees and power lines across Essex, Orleans, Addison, Caledonia and Rutland Counties. In Essex County damage occurred in Canaan and Concord. Damage was also reported in Caledonia County, in Rutland County, in Clarendon and Chittenden and in Orleans County in Derby Center. Total damage in Vermont totaled out to $135,000. [http://www4.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-win/wwcgi.dll?wwevent~ShowEvent~249703 Event- High Winds- 05 Oct 1995, 2200 EST] ]

Heavy winds and rain associated with the remnants of Opal brought down trees and knocked out power in southwestern and northern New Hampshire. One person was injured in Marlborough when a large tree blew onto his moving pickup truck. [http://www4.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-win/wwcgi.dll?wwevent~ShowEvent~222552 Event- High Winds- 05 Oct 1995, 2315 EST] ]

In Maine, Heavy winds and rain associated with the remnants of Opal brought down trees and knocked out power in coastal areas of southern Maine. Some beach erosion occurred in Saco. Strong winds ripped away boats from their moorings in the Midcoast towns of Camden and Rockland. [http://www4.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-win/wwcgi.dll?wwevent~ShowEvent~213798 Event- High Winds- 06 Oct 1995, 0300 EST] ]

Canada

Wind and gale warnings were issued in southern Ontario and the upper St. Lawrence River in accordance with the remnants of Opal by the Canadian Hurricane Centre on September 5. The remnants also spawned a heavy rainfall warning by the Ontario Hurricane Center and the Quebec Hurricane Center for both provinces. The anticipated rain would not exist as the same as Hurricane Hazel 41 years before. The leftover system of Opal spawned a gale warning for Nova Scotia. [http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/storm_wallets/atlantic/atl1995/opal/public/can0521z.gifCanadian Hurricane Center Advisory 1] ] Rainfalls equaled out to .5 inch (12 mm) in Northwestern Ontario, .5 inch (12 mm) in southern parts of Quebec and New Brunswick. Rainfall stretched out to the area of Nova Scotia, but only .5 inch (12 mm) was reported. [http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/tropical/rain/1007199512zpcpn.gifRainfall - October 7] ] Toronto had recorded winds of at least 52 mph (84 km/h) and rainfall of about 3.09 inches (78 mm). [http://www.islandnet.com/~see/weather/almanac/diaryoct.htm Significant Weather Events - Canada] ]

Retirement

The name "Opal" was retired in the spring of 1996 and will never again be used in the Atlantic basin. It was replaced with "Olga" in the 2001 season. Opal was the first O name to be retired.

Opal was the first of only 6 storms to be assigned a name beginning with letter 'O' since hurricane naming began in the Atlantic in 1950. The other 5 storms named with "O" are Olga of 2001, Odette of 2003, Otto of 2004, Ophelia of 2005, and Olga of 2007.

See also

* List of Florida hurricanes
* List of wettest tropical cyclones in the United States
* Loop Current

References

External links

* [http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/1995opal.html NHC Opal report]


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