- Hurricane Erin (1995)
Image location=Hurricane Erin AVHRR High res.jpg
Formed=July 31, 1995
Dissipated=August 6, 1995
Fatalities=6 direct; 7 indirect [http://www.thehurricanearchive.com/Viewer.aspx?
] ] [http://www.thehurricanearchive.com/Viewer.aspx?
] ] [http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/1995erin.html (NOAA Hurricane Erin 1995 report)] ]
Jamaica, Bahamas, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi
1995 Atlantic hurricane season
Hurricane Erin was the fifth named
tropical cycloneand the second hurricane of the unusually active 1995 Atlantic hurricane season. Erin began as a tropical wave, from the coast of Africa, on July 22, became a tropical storm on July 31, and dissipated as a tropical depression on August 6. It made landfall on the central Floridacoastline and along the Gulf Coastas a Category 1 hurricane and Category 2 hurricane in early August 1995, respectively, causing a moderate amount of damage. The system reached peak strength at 100 mph, or 160 km/h, in the Gulf of Mexico. [http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/storm_wallets/atlantic/atl1995-prelim/erin/prelim03.gif(NOAA Prelim 3)] ]
Hurricane and tropical storm warnings and watches were issued for both coasts, prior to Erin's two landfalls. Tornado and flood watches and warnings were also issued for these areas, as a preparation for the impact of Erin.
$700 million 1995 USD, $923 million (2006 USD), was the total monetary damage estimate from Erin. The monetary damages from the system primarily came from tree downings, crop damages, and ship damages. There was various other damages that also occurred as a result of Erin's impact. [http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/tropical/rain/erin1995.html (HPC Summary)] ] Erin was the first hurricane to hit the U.S. since 1992's Andrew (in 3 years and 11 days), or 1001 total days, the longest gap recorded.
On July 22, a
tropical waveemerged into the eastern Atlantic Ocean, off the western coast of Africa. The system had two distinct low-level circulation centers, and a large area of convection. By July 27, both circulations were generating deep convection a few hundred miles to the northeast of the Leeward Islands. These centers began to show tropical storm-force winds, but they did not have enough of a closed circulation needed, to be named.
Near midday, on July 30, T-number estimates began to show numbers, potentially indicative of a
tropical cyclone. The National Hurricane Centerthen decided to fly a special night reconnaissance mission into the system, due to the systems close range to the Bahamasand the state of Florida. At midnight on the July 30, Hurricane Hunter aircraft data had showed that the storm had acquired a closed circulation. The system was named Tropical Storm Erin upon the National Hurricane Center's interpreting the data and information on July 31.
The track of the center was pushed by an upper-level low, off of the coast of
Florida, onto a northwesterly track, from its west-northwest track. This change in the track had it cross only the northern part of the Bahamasand caused the storm to affect the central coast of Floridainstead of south Florida. The steering currents associated with the upper-level low made Erin sped up to 17 mph, from a previous 6 mph, and diverted Erin up and around the northeastern portion of the upper-level low. As this was happening, the system experienced shearing, that permitted the system to only have slow strengthening. The shear eventually diminished somewhat however, and on the evening of the July 31, Erin was upgraded to a hurricane. The next day, an eye began to become apparent on satellite imagery. Early in the day on August 2, Erin made landfall at Vero Beach, Floridawith winds around 85 mph (140 km/h).
Erin's track bent back to west-northwest while the storm crossed the Florida peninsula during the morning and early afternoon of August 2. Erin weakened to a tropical storm with 60 mph (95 km/h) winds while crossing the peninsula, but remained fairly well-organized, although the system lost its visible eye. Upon emerging into the eastern
Gulf of Mexico, Erin reintensified to a hurricane and continued strengthening until its final landfall occurred near Pensacola, Floridaduring the late morning of the 3rd. An eye had redeveloped while crossing the Gulf of Mexico, as well. Erin had maximum sustained winds around 100 mph (160 km/h) in a small area of its northeastern eyewall when that portion of the hurricane came ashore near Fort Walton Beach, making it a Category 2 hurricane at landfall.
Erin weakened to a tropical storm in southeastern
Mississippiovernight on the 3rd and 4th. It was only a tropical depression, by the time its track shifted to the north on the 5th and then to the east on the 6th. The depression then merged with a frontal system, over West Virginia, later on the 6th.
9,000 residents underwent mandatory
evacuationin southeastern Louisiana. A state of emergencywas issued to prepare for Erin. [http://www.thehurricanearchive.com/Viewer.aspx?
] ] A
hurricane watchwas issued on August 2 that included from south of the mouth of the Pearl River, to the mouth of the Mississippi River, including the city of New Orleans. This was upgraded to a hurricane warning later on August 2. This warning was discontinued on August 3. A tropical storm watch was also issued on August 2 that included east of the Pearl River to south of the mouth of the Pearl River. The last hurricane warning issued was from Grand Isleto Morgan Cityon August 3. All other hurricane warning were then discontinued. [http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/storm_wallets/atlantic/atl1995-prelim/erin/prelim14.gif(NOAA Prelim 14)] ] [http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/storm_wallets/atlantic/atl1995-prelim/erin/prelim15.gif(NOAA Prelim 15)] ]
Dauphin Islandand low lying areas of Mobile Countyunderwent voluntary evacuation. Alabamaopened shelters to house evacuees. A tropical storm watch was also issued on August 2 that included the southern coast of Alabama.
A hurricane warning was issued at Erin's first landfall from
New Smyrna Beachsouthward, and Lake Okeechobee. A tropical storm was issued from New Smyrna Beach, northward to St. Augustine. A flood watch was issued for all of East-Central Florida. A tornado watch was also issued for East-Central Florida. [ [http://www.srh.weather.gov/mlb/sep96/836pm.htm (Hurricane Local Statement 836 PM)] ]
Evacuations were issued for 800,000 people initially in
Florida, in preparation for the storm. The evacuation of 400,000 people was quickly cancelled as the storm moved north, but 400,000 remained evacuated in Palm Beach County. Police in the county were sent patrolling, to prevent looting. About 300 military aircraft, in the Florida Panhandle, were evacuated to neighboring states. [http://www.thehurricanearchive.com/Viewer.aspx?
At Erin's first landfall, a tornado warning was issued for eastern
Volusia County, in East-Central Florida, after radar indicated a possible tornado offshore of Volusia County. The warning said that the tornado was approaching the coast at Ormond Beachand Holly Hill. The National Weather Service bureau in Melbourne also warned that other storms offshore Volusia County showed signs of rotation. [http://www.srh.weather.gov/mlb/sep96/1115pm.htm (Tornado Warning for Volusia County)] ] NASAhad to halt some activities or preparation of shuttles at Kennedy Space Center, due to Erin. [http://www-pao.ksc.nasa.gov/kscpao/status/stsstat/1995/aug/8-03-95s.htm (NASA Data)] ]
Widespread tree downings, power line, crop, and roof damage was reported throughout the Southeastern United States. [http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/storm_wallets/atlantic/atl1995-prelim/erin/prelim04.gif(NOAA prelim04)] ] [http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/storm_wallets/atlantic/atl1995/erin/preloc/pshjax.gif(Pshjax NOAA Archive)] ]
Heavy rains occurred in
Jamaica, which caused a planecrash that killed 5 people. The plane was a Cessna 310 twin-engine aircraft, owned by RegionAir, a subsidiary of the Guardsman Group. The aircraft contained four employees of Brinks Jamacia, who were due to testify in a court hearing, and a pilot. The plane departed from the Tinson Pen Aerodomein Kingston, Jamaica, and was bound for Montego Bay, St. James. Two teenagers were also killed on a footballfield in Braeton, Saint Catherine Parish, when lightning associated with Erin struck them dead.
All of the Bahaman islands had sustained damage, characterized by the
Bahamas Department of Meteorologyas mostly minor, much of it from sunken boats. Some of the other damage resulted from structural damage, and crop loss. Damage totaled to $400,000 (1995 USD).
Minimal damage was experienced in Georgia. Some beach erosion was reported through portions of the state. [http://www.trackingthetropics.com/erin.html (Tracking the Tropics Summary of Erin)] ]
U.S. Gulf Coast
No deaths were reported on land, throughout the entire Gulf Coast region. [http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/storm_wallets/atlantic/atl1995/erin/preloc/mobile.gif(NOAA Mobile Preloc Archive)] ]
Erin caused 6 drowning deaths across the
Gulf of Mexicoand Atlantic Oceanoff Florida. The cruise ship Club Royale sank, causing three of the deaths. Another ship was also sunk due to Erin. More than 1 million people lost power due to the hurricane. Erin caused $700 million (1995 US dollars) in damage, mostly in Florida. Moderate beach erosion was reported along Florida's east coast and Panhandle.
Multiple waterspouts and tornadoes were reported throughout the state. A tornado in Titusville, caused minor damage. Another tornado, near
Lake Lizzie, killed two horses. Trees also went down and roofs were blown off houses. [http://www.trackingthetropics.com/erin.html (Tracking the Tropics Summary of Erin)] ]
Two to four foot storm tide was reported on Florida's east coast, during Erin's first landfall. One to two foot storm tide was reported on Florida's West-Central coast. Six to seven feet storm tides were estimated west of Navarre Beach, and three to four foot storm tides were reported along Pensacola Beach.
FEMAissued a federal disaster declaration for Florida, due to Erin. [ [http://www.fema.gov/news/disasters.fema?year=1995 (Federal Disaster Declarations 1995)] ]
The most significant damage from the second landfall in Florida was near Pensacola, where Erin made landfall, and Navarre Beach, where almost one-third of buildings suffered major damage. [http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/storm_wallets/atlantic/atl1995/erin/news/ss0804p2.gif(NOAA Newspaper Archive ss0804p2)] ] A maximum wind of 101 mph was reported at
Pensacola Naval Air Station. The tower of Pensacola Airportwas evacuated, due to high winds, and the data is therefore unavailable. More than 2,000 homes were reported damaged from Erin. Some beach erosion was also reported west of Navarre Beach. There was a large amount of crop loses in Northwest Florida resulting from Erin. This included about of the cottoncrop of the region, and around 20 to 25 percent of the pecancrop. An estimated amount of 63 percent of power customers in Northwest Florida were left without power from the hurricane.
Two tornadoes were reported at Erin's second landfall in Northwest Florida. A tornado in southern
Amelia Islandresulted in trees blocking route A1A. A portion of a roof was torn off a mall in south Jacksonvillebeach as a result of tornado.
Trees and power lines were blown down throughout southwest Alabama. At least 100 homes were reported damaged in
Alabama. The estimated pecan crop, for Baldwin County, Alabama, lost 50 to 75 percent of its total portion.
Mississippi, winds of 90 mph were felt, even though Erin made landfall in Pensacola, Florida. [http://nsgl.gso.uri.edu/flsgp/flsgpb97001.pdf (Florida Hurricanes and Tropical Storms)] ]
Lack of retirement
List of Atlantic hurricanes
* [http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/1995erin.html Hurricane Erin 1995 report]
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