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Tropical Storm Doria was the costliest tropical cyclone in the 1971 Atlantic hurricane season. The fifth tropical storm of the season, Doria developed from a tropical wave on August 20 to the east of the Lesser Antilles, and after five days without development it attained tropical storm status to the east of Floridamarker. Doria turned to the north, and reached peak winds of 65 mph (105 km/h) as it was making landfall near Morehead City, North Carolinamarker. It turned to the northeast, and moved through the Mid-Atlantic and New Englandmarker as a tropical storm before becoming an extratropical storm over Mainemarker on August 29.

In North Carolinamarker, Doria produced moderate rainfall, resulting in localized flooding and damage. The storm spawned a tornado near Norfolk, Virginiamarker, damaging twelve houses and downing hundreds of trees. Tropical Storm Doria dropped heavy precipitation in New Jerseymarker, peaking at 10.29 inches (261 mm) in Little Fallsmarker. The rainfall led to record-breaking river levels and flooding in several houses, resulting in damage to dozens of houses across the state. Moderate damage and rainfall continued along its path into New Englandmarker and southeastern Canadamarker. In all, Tropical Storm Doria caused $147.6 million in damage (1971 USD, $785 million 2008 USD) and seven deaths.

Meteorological history

On August 15, a tropical wave moved off the coast of Africa, and tracked westward while slowly organizing. On August 20, subsequent to the development of a low-level circulation, an area of convection along the wave developed into a tropical depression while located about 1,000 miles (1,600 km) east-northeast of Grenadamarker. Initially failing to organize further, the depression moved to the west-northwest, and on August 23, it passed through the northern Lesser Antilles. The depression moved to the north of Puerto Rico, Hispaniolamarker, and the Bahamasmarker, and began to show further signs of organization on August 25. After briefly weakening on August 26, the depression re-strengthened while turning to the north, and attained tropical storm status on August 27 while located 230 miles (370 km) east of Daytona Beach, Floridamarker.

After reaching tropical storm status, Doria quickly intensified as its wind field expanded while moving northward. The minimum central pressure quickly dropped, as well, and late on August 27, Doria reached its peak intensity of 65 mph (105 km/h) while making landfall on North Carolinamarker near Morehead Citymarker. The storm maintained its peak winds as it moved north-northeastward through North Carolina, and weakened slightly to a 60 mph (95 km/h) tropical storm after entering Virginiamarker on August 28. Doria turned to the northeast, passing through the Chesapeake Bay and Delmarva Peninsulamarker before entering southern New Jerseymarker. It paralleled the state a short distance inland, and after moving through New York Citymarker Doria became extratropical over northwestern Mainemarker on August 29. The extratropical remnant continued northeastward until losing its identity near the border of New Brunswickmarker and Quebecmarker in Canadamarker.


Southeast United States and Virginia

Beach erosion in North Carolina from Doria
Doria passed near or through the northern Caribbean Islands and the Bahamas as a tropical depression, though effects, if any, are unknown. Tropical Storm Doria passed about 160 miles (260 km) east of Charleston, South Carolinamarker, though its large wind field produced 22 mph (35 km/h) winds in the town. The storm also dropped light rainfall of up to 1.75 inches (44 mm), and resulted in a storm tide of 5.7 feet (1.7 m) above the mean low water level.

Upon making landfall in North Carolinamarker, Doria produced a storm tide of 2 feet (0.6 m) above normal at Cape Fearmarker. Sustained winds in the state peaked at 41 mph (66 km/h) in Hatterasmarker, while gusts reached 69 mph (111 km/h) in Atlantic Beachmarker. In most areas, wind damage was minimal. Tropical Storm Doria dropped moderate rainfall across the state, including a report of 4.17 inches (106 mm) in Cape Hatterasmarker. Over 5 inches (125 mm) of rain fell around the Albemarle Sound and near New Bernmarker. The rainfall led to flooding and mudslides, which blocked roads and highways. In localized areas, the flooding caused severe damage to roads and houses. Flooding from Doria also damaged water and sewage systems. Rainfall in the state persisted for two weeks after the passage of Doria.

In Virginiamarker, the storm produced a storm tide of 3.6 feet (1.1 m) above normal in Norfolkmarker. Sustained winds peaked at 60 mph (95 km/h) in Langley Air Force Basemarker, while gusts reached 71 mph (114 km/h) in Norfolk. The bands of the storm spawned an F1 tornado near Portsmouthmarker and Chesapeakemarker, damaging twelve homes and downing hundreds of trees. Damage from the tornado amounted to $250,000 (1971 USD, $1 million 2008 USD). Rainfall from Doria was moderate, peaking at 6.44 inches (164 mm) at a location 2 miles (3.2 km) south-southeast of Halifaxmarker. One person drowned in Alexandriamarker when she fell into a draining ditch. The storm severely damaged a large warehouse in Norfolk, as well. Damage in Virginia totaled $375,000 (1971 USD, $2 million 2008 USD). Floodwaters from Doria clogged sewage systems near Norfolk, Virginiamarker with sand and silt. This forced the sewage to be dumped into the Chesapeake Bay, resulting in the closure of several beaches for days.

Mid-Atlantic states

Rainfall totals from Doria
Tropical Storm Doria dropped 3.85 inches (98 mm) of rain in Washington National Airportmarker in Washington, D.C.marker In Marylandmarker, the storm resulted in tides 2.7 feet (0.8 m) above normal in Fort Henry. Rainfall in the state peaked at 4.39 inches (112 mm) in Baltimoremarker, while wind gusts reached a maximum of 63 mph (101 km/h) at the United States Coast Guard station in Ocean Citymarker. The storm produced 5.09 inches (129 mm) of rain in Wilmington, Delawaremarker and a storm tide of 3.2 feet (1 m) above normal in Lewesmarker. In Pennsylvaniamarker, the passage of Tropical Storm Doria resulted in 6.57 inches (167 mm) of rain and peak wind gusts of 73 mph (117 km/h) in Philadelphiamarker. Moderate winds downed trees and power lines in Pennsylvania, and one person died in the state. Several rivers in the southeastern portion of the state experienced record-breaking flooding.

In New Jerseymarker, Doria produced wind gusts of up to 54 mph (87 km/h) and storm tides 5.3 feet (1.6 m) above normal in Atlantic Citymarker. The outer bands of the storm spawned an F2 tornado near Cape Maymarker. It moved quickly northward through Cape May Countymarker, and caused about $250,000 in damage (1971 USD, $1 million 2008 USD) in damage along its 29 mile (47 km) path. The storm dropped heavy rainfall, peaking at 10.29 inches (261 mm) in Little Fallsmarker. Record 24-hour rainfall totals occurred in Newarkmarker with 7.84 inches (199 mm) and Trentonmarker with 7.55 inches (192 mm). The rainfall led to record flooding on several small streams in the state. The Beden Brook crested at over 5 feet (1.5 m) above normal, which destroyed a bridge near Princetonmarker. The Raritan River at Manvillemarker crested at 9.8 feet (3 m), a record stood until the passage of Hurricane Floyd in 1999. The heavy rainfall overtopped the levee system in Zarephathmarker, causing severe damage to the Alma White College and preventing it from opening in the fall of 1971. The rainfall also flooded two fire houses in Somervillemarker with several feet of water, and the water treatment plant in Bridgewater Townshipmarker with 18 inches (457 mm) of floodwaters in what was catalogued as a 50-year flood event. Following the flooding to the water treatment plant, officials raised the beams of the plant to withstand a 500-year flood event. Eleven houses experienced flooding damage in Montgomery Townshipmarker. Doria killed three people and caused $138 million in damage (1971 USD, $734 million 2008 USD) in the state.

Northeast United States and Canada

Tropical Storm Doria produced moderate winds in New York Citymarker with gusts to 48 mph (77 km/h). The storm tide reached 3.8 feet (1.2 m) above normal at Battery Parkmarker, and rainfall peaked at 5.96 inches (151 mm). LaGuardia Airportmarker recorded 2.29 inches (58 mm) of rain in a one-hour period. The threat of the storm cancelled a baseball game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Mets. Heavy rainfall flooded streets and subways in New York. In Connecticutmarker, Doria produced up to 3.12 inches (79 mm) of rain and wind gusts peaking at 48 mph (77 km/h) in Hartfordmarker. Doria dropped light rain in Rhode Islandmarker, including a report of 0.97 inches (25 mm) in Providencemarker. The storm also produced wind gusts of up to 61 mph (98 km/h) and a storm tide of 5.9 feet (1.8 m) above mean water level. In Bostonmarker, rainfall totaled to 0.83 inches (21 mm), while wind gusts peaked at 80 mph (130 km/h) at the Blue Hill Meteorological Observatorymarker. Two people drowned in Marbleheadmarker when they were swept away by surf from the storm.

The storm dropped moderate rainfall in Vermontmarker, including a total of 5.56 inches (141 mm) in Mount Mansfieldmarker. The rainfall caused road washouts, landslides, and damage to bridges in the southeast portion of the state. The center of Tropical Storm Doria passed over south-central New Hampshiremarker, resulting in heavy rains and damaging winds. Sustained winds in Mainemarker were generally around 30 mph (48 km/h), while gusts peaked at 61 mph (98 km/h) in Lewistonmarker. The strong winds resulted in downed trees and widespread outages to power and telephone service. The winds also damaged a mobile home in Sabattusmarker and a steel shed in Lewiston. Doria produced moderate rainfall, including a total of 1.75 inches (44 mm) in Lewiston, though little flooding occurred.

Moisture from Tropical Storm Doria entered southeastern Canadamarker, peaking at over 3 inches (75 mm) in the Montérégiemarker region of Quebecmarker. The rainfall led to severe flooding in Victoriavillemarker, causing damage to roads, bridges, and crops. Damage totaled to about $250,000 (1971 CND, $245,000 1971 USD, $1 million 2008 USD).

Throughout its path, Tropical Storm Doria caused seven deaths and $147.6 million in damage (1971 USD, $785 million 2008 USD).

In early September 1971, President Richard Nixon declared counties in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania as disaster areas due to heavy rains and flooding. This allowed citizens in disaster areas to apply for federal assistance. Despite the damage, the name Doria was not retired. However, due to a change in the list of tropical cyclone names in 1978, the name Doria has not since been used.

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