Diane drenches East Coast

Sister act: Diane was one of three hurricanes to strike North Carolina in 1955.
Damage: $4.2 billion
Deaths (US): 184

Hurricane Diane hit the North Carolina coast in mid-August a short distance south of where her older sister, Connie, crossed the coastline a week earlier.

But while Connie's damage had largely been confined to North Carolina, Diane looped north through the mid-Atlantic to cause some of the worst flooding ever recorded.

Trains were stalled in their flooded tracks. Tobacco and cotton crops were flattened. Numerous rivers and streams poured out of their banks and into hundreds of streets, homes and highways.

"I have never seen anything like it in my life," one pilot told a reporter in Winsted, Conn. "It looks like someone had taken automobiles and thrown them at one another."

The wasteland left behind by the flood was "as devastating as the human mind can imagine," said a Rhode Island official.

A hot August sun made the gigantic, million-dollar clean-up task even more arduous.

North Carolina was visited by its third hurricane of the season in September, when Ione blew through the Outer Banks, leaving seven dead.

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