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1964 - Hurricane Dora

Hurricane Dora was the first and, to date, the only hurricane to make landfall on the First Coast region of Florida; more specifically, the metropolitan area of Jacksonville. Before it came ashore at St. Johns County just after midnight on September 10, 1964, no hurricane had made landfall there since record-keeping began in 1851.

Storm History

Dora originated as a low pressure area near Cape Verde on August 28. On September 2, the storm had quickly strengthened into a hurricane over 1,000 miles east of the Leeward Islands. Moving northwest, Dora continued to intensify, with a current path thought originally to suggest a New England threat or a turn out to sea. However, a high pressure system to the north slowly forced Dora on a curve back to the west. While in the process of turning west, Dora peaked at 140 mph and slowed in forward movement. Dora then weakened back to a Category 2 hurricane while moving westward towards the northeast coast of Florida. Just before landfall on September 9, Dora regained major hurricane status before weakening back to a strong Category 2 at landfall as the eye passed over St. Augustine on the evening of September 9 with winds reported at 110 miles per hour at landfall.

The storm cut a path across the northern part of the state before finally making a track to the northeast on September 12. As it moved into southwestern Georgia, Dora was downgraded to a tropical storm before moving back over Georgia and South Carolina. The system circulated into the Atlantic Ocean again, but by this time it was disorganized and dissipated completely soon after.

Impact

Power supply for Jacksonville and surrounding towns was lost; it was only restored after six days of outages.

Dora caused only one death, but did about $280 million ($1.5 billion in 2000 dollars) in damage, primarily due to extensive inland flooding.

Retirement

The name Dora was retired from the Atlantic hurricane lists and was replaced with Dolly for the 1968 season.

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