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Canadian Tropical Cyclone Season Summary for 1956

1956 Storm Tracks Image
1956 Storm Tracks Image

Hurricane Betsy (August 9 to August 20, 1956)

Hurricane Betsy, the strongest hurricane of the season, developed east of the Lesser Antilles on August 9. It crossed over Puerto Rico on the 12th and then re-curved east of the United States mainland. As the hurricane passed through the French Antilles damage was heavy and winds of 160 to 190 kilometres per hour (86 to 102 knots) swept over Guadeloupe and Marie Galante. The hurricane passed over Puerto Rico on the August 12 with gusts of 185 kilometres per hour (100 knots), resulting in 9 deaths. At San Salvador in the Bahamas, winds reached 212 kilometres per hour (114 knots) in gusts and 12.7 centimetres (5 inches) of rain fell in five hours. On August 14 and 15, Betsy began re-curving with a sharp deceleration in its forward movement. By the August 16, Betsy was moving towards the northeast, at this time the eye was becoming poorly defined. On August 18, the storm assumed more tropical characteristics and it moved due east on the 19 and 20, gradually losing its identity.

There were at least 27 deaths connected with Betsy and total damage was estimated at $35,880,000.

Tropical Storm Carla (September 5 to September 11, 1956)

Tropical Storm Carla formed north of eastern Cuba on September 5 and remained at sea during its life, which spanned from the September 5 until September 11. Carla had taken on extratropical characteristics by the afternoon of September 10.

Hurricane Flossie (September 21 to September 30, 1956)

Hurricane Flossie formed in a disturbance that moved across Guatemala from the Pacific. The storm reached hurricane intensity in the Gulf of Mexico on September 23 and crossed the Mississippi Delta near Pilottown, Louisiana, early on the 24th. It seems to have reached maximum intensity at Burrwood with a highest wind of 135 kilometres per hour (73 knots). Tides reached 2.25 metres above mean sea-level at Laguna Beach, Florida. Rainfall totaled 42 centimetres at Golden Meadow, Louisiana, and almost as much at Gulf Shores, Alabama. Three tornadoes were reported in northwestern Florida and near Savannah, Georgia. The storm became extratropical shortly after the centre passed out of Florida but it moved northeastward inside the coastline as an energetic storm until it passed out to sea near the Virginia Capes.

Total Damage in Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi was $24,774,000 and in Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia it was $100,000. Deaths, mainly from plane and automobile accidents attributed to the Flossie, totaled 15.

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