Hurricane Igor is the worst storm to hit Newfoundland, brought 28 m-high waves

On this day in weather history, Hurricane Igor brought Newfoundland torrential rains.

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by Chris Mei from The Weather Network, featuring stories about people, communities and events and how weather impacted them.


On Monday, September 20, 2010, the Canadian Hurricane Center (CHC) issued tropical storm watches and warnings for areas of Newfoundland. The next day, Hurricane Igor passed near Newfoundland and ended up being the most destructive tropical cyclone to ever hit the island.

Igor started as a low-pressure system off the coast of Africa on Sep. 6. By Sep. 8, the system formed into a tropical storm. On Sep. 12, Igor went through explosive intensification and reached Category 4 status.

1280px-Large waves in Bermuda from Hurricane Igor

"Large waves impacted the coast of Bermuda for several days prior to and following Igor's passage, some of which were up to ...4.6 m... high." Courtesy of Lee & Chantelle McArthur/Wikipedia/CC BY 2.0

The hurricane sustained Category 4 status for almost five days. Igor's peak winds reached 250 km/h. On Sep. 17, Igor passed near the Leeward Islands. The same day, Igor approached Bermuda, bringing hurricane winds

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On Sep. 21, the CHC issued a hurricane watch for Newfoundland. In response, schools were cancelled, flights at St. John's International Airport were closed, and an oil rig was evacuated.

Igor brought torrential rainfall across Newfoundland, resulting in widespread flooding. Bonavista measured more than 250 mm of rain. The extreme rain ranked the storm as a 1-in-100 year event. The hurricane also brought strong winds to the island, reaching up to 172 km/h. Igor also brought immensely high waves that reached up to 28 m.


"Photograph of Hurricane Igor's eye on September 14 from the International Space Station." Courtesy of Wikipedia

Overall, Newfoundland was most impacted by the torrential rains. Rivers rose to record levels, washing out many roads. Floodwaters overtook bridges and homes.

Newfoundland Power Inc. advised residents to turn off their electricity if their basement was flooded - that's if they still had power.


Newfoundland. Courtesy of TWN

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Around 150 communities around the island were isolated as all roads leading to them were damaged. The floodwaters washed out a bridge that left 20,000 people isolated.

In Newfoundland, Hurricane Igor killed one person and caused approximately $200 million. Military personnel were sent to the island to help with recovery efforts.

To learn more about Hurricane Igor, listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."

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