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Hurricanes: Science and Society
1667- The Dreadful Hurricane of 1667

In September 1667, a powerful hurricane struck colonial Virginia. The storm was first recorded off the Lesser Antilles on 1 September. On 6 September, the storm moved through the Outer Banks of North Carolina and proceeded to make landfall just to the northeast of Jamestown, Virginia. The hurricane lasted 24 hours, bringing with it, violent winds, heavy rains, and a 3.7 m (12 ft) storm surge. Approximately 10,000 houses were destroyed. The colonists’ tobacco and corn crops were lost, their cattle drowned, and their ships were greatly damaged. In a letter from the colonial secretary Thomas Ludwell to Virginia Governor Lord William Berkeley, the Secretary described the night of the hurricane as “the most dismal time I ever knew or heard of, for the wind and rain raised so confused a noise, mixed with the continued cracks of failing houses...” He then stated that the colony, in the aftermath of the hurricane, was “reduced to a very miserable condition”.

Fast Facts:

  • This event is considered to be one of the most severe hurricanes to ever strike Virginia.
  • Rain fell for 12 straight days in the wake of the hurricane.
  • The widening of the Lynnhaven River, located near Virginia Beach, was a result of this hurricane.


Seventeenth Century Virginia Hurricanes. NOAA Hydrometeorological Prediction Center. 2001. Web.


“Jamestown Location”

“Jamestown Ships”

“Lynnhaven River Area”