Tropical Storm Agnes in Greater Harrisburg

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Tropical Storm Agnes in Greater Harrisburg

21.99

Tropical Storm Agnes, along with the unprecedented flooding which resulted from it, is arguably the most significant event to have transpired in the Harrisburg area in the last 150 years. Over the course of June 21 and June 22, 1972, Agnes drenched the region with more than a foot of rain. As a result, the Susquehanna River rose to record-breaking levels and backed into the already overwhelmed feeding creeks and streams. In Harrisburg, armed National Guardsmen patrolled the vacant streets and set up checkpoints to enforce a curfew and deter looting. Surrounded by floodwaters, row homes near the governor's mansion burned, and firefighters waded through chest-high water as they attempted to reach the blaze. Entire neighborhoods in both Shipoke and Steelton were ultimately lost due to the high waters entering homes. To this day, Agnes continues to serve as the measuring stick by which all storms since have been judged.

Erik V. Fasick is a member of the board of trustees for the Historical Society of Dauphin County and holds a master's degree in American Studies from Penn State Harrisburg. He has published articles and given lectures relating to local history and cultural studies in the Harrisburg area. 

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