Revisiting Hurricane Gloria, devastated Long Island 38 years ago


The rain and flooding wreaking havoc on Long Island and New York City have hearkened back memories to another storm that devastated the area almost exactly 38 years ago.

On Sept. 27, 1985, Hurricane Gloria, after winding its way up the East Coast, slammed in to the metropolitant New York area, with Long Island bearing the brunt of a storm that whirled winds up to 115 mph.

The hurricane cause tens of millions of dollars in damages to homes, beaches, power and telephone lines, vegetation and other buildings and property. Hundreds of schools and businesses were forced to temporarily close, due to power outages, flooding caused by a devastating storm surge, and structural damage.

Travel on the Long Island Rail Road was suspended due to fallen trees and flooding.

More than a million residents in the area remained without power on Sept. 29, 1985, and tens of thousands of Long Islanders went several days without electricity. Immediately following the storm, more than two-thirds of LILCO’s Long Island customers were left without power. (The Long Island Lighting Company (LILCO) ran electricity on Long Island at the time.)

Check out this vintage WABC TV news report below from Sept. 28, 1985. It was broadcast the day after Hurricane Gloria struck Long Island.

Top photo: Roofs of houses in Fire Island, New York, were blown away by Hurricane Gloria as it swept through the area, Sept. 28, 1985. Fire Island was especially hard hit as Gloria moved straight across Long Island, leaving behind thousands of downed trees, utility poles and electrical lines. (AP Photo/Rick Maiman)

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