1821 Storm Surge Drowned Lower Manhattan

Reaching the City on September 3, 1821, the storm was one of the only hurricanes believed to have passed directly over parts of modern New York City. The tide rose 13 feet in one hour and inundated wharves, causing the East River to converge into the Hudson River across lower Manhattan as far north as Canal Street. However, few deaths were attributed to the storm because flooding was concentrated in neighborhoods with far fewer homes than exist today.

NYC Hazards: NYC Hurricane History

Katherine Hayhoe’s great-great-great-great grandmother blamed it on horse farts.

h/t to Ivan


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8 Responses to 1821 Storm Surge Drowned Lower Manhattan

  1. omnologos says:

    How old was the Moon, on that day in 1821?

  2. John Silver says:

    How much of the area flooded now are landfill, and didn’t exist 1821?

    • John , I have always been amazed by how much of the area was filled in by the 1820s as Anthony’s link shows . The 5 floor massive brick walled 1873 building I lived in at the end of Peck Slip was virtually built to float on the land fill and would shake with the ripples whenever a heavy truck passed .

  3. Anthony S says:

    John, There’s a new graphic on thsn page which shows the coastline at various time periods.


  4. From 1984 – 2005 I lived above the Paris Cafe at Peck Slip and South St . Peck Slip flooded twice in the ’80s just about to the original slope at Front St up to Pearl ( named for all the oyster shells ) . Those floods got up to about the raised floor of the Paris – which did take out the electrics in the basement . I got an email back from the bar that they have massive damage from 6 ft of water in the bar .

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