Historical Flooding in Queen Anne's County

Major floods in the Queen Anne’s County area have occurred in 1933, 1954, 1955, 1960, 1972, 1999, 2003, 2008 and 2011. Few detailed records of historical flood damage are available.

August 1933

In August 1933, the "Great Storm of 1933” lashed the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Many trees and limbs were downed as a result of high winds. Flooding occurred, but no specific reports were available.

October 1954

In late October 1954, Hurricane Hazel caused extensive damage to Queen Anne’s County. Damage estimates were placed at approximately $500,000. One hundred people were evacuated from Kent Narrows as a result of high storm tides. The storm tides in the Towns of Centreville and Queenstown were reported as the highest in history. The storm tide flooded the office of Valiants Fertilizer in Centreville. Two 18,000-gallon, empty oil tanks were overturned at the Thocar Oil Company by the high tide. Many boats were washed ashore by the high winds and tide.

August 1955

During August 1955, Hurricane Connie struck Queen Anne’s County. Advance warning made it possible for residents to prepare their property against high water, drastically reducing property damages in comparison with Hurricane Hazel.

September 1960

In mid-September 1960, Hurricane Donna brought heavy rainfall which was responsible for extensive road washouts and flooding in the Towns of Centreville, Queen Anne, and Queenstown. The major road closings in the vicinity were: Route 213 just south of Church Hill, Route 305 at Tanyard Branch, Route 544 near Crumpton at Red Lion Branch, Route 213 over Mill Stream Branch in the Town of Centreville and Route 213 over Island Creek, north of Centreville, when a 31-foot crack in the concrete bridge occurred.

August 3-5, 1967

On August 3-5, 1967, locally heavy thunderstorms passed through Queen Anne’s County and the Town of Queen Anne, resulting in moderate flooding. The greatest amount of rain recorded from those storms was 9.15 inches in 6 hours at nearby Goldsboro. Water was reportedly one foot deep in the main office of K.M.C. Foods in the Town of Queen Anne. Alternate Route 404 at the Town of Queen Anne was completely washed away leaving a gap 12 feet deep and 75 feet wide.

June 1972

Tropical Storm Agnes lashed the Chesapeake Bay region in late June 1972. The northern part of Queen Anne’s County and the Towns of Centreville, Queen Anne, and Queenstown were the areas most affected by the storm. High water in the vicinity of Centreville, Queen Anne, and Queenstown closed roads on: Route 213 north of Church Hill, Route 19 between Church Hill and Route 301, Route 300 between Church Hill and Sudlersville and the Route 313 Bridge at the Town of Millington.

The high levels of freshwater and high coliform concentrations in the Bay forced state officials to place a ban on the harvesting of shellfish. This caused a severe economic hardship for Queen Anne’s County watermen.

September 16, 1999

Hurricane Floyd battered the Maryland Eastern Shore on September 16, 1999 and brought with it torrential rains and damaging winds. The hurricane caused widespread flash flooding as storm totals averaged around ten inches, most of which fell in a twelve hour period from the early morning through the afternoon on the 16th. The torrential downpours associated with Hurricane Floyd exceeded the 1-percent annual chance flood return period for most of the Eastern Shore. Hundreds of roads and bridges were closed. Hardest hit were homes in Sandfield just outside of Millington. The only railroad service into Queen Anne's County was suspended after flooding along the Charles River crippled the railroad's trestles. There were voluntary evacuations in low-lying areas and also in some mobile home parks. Many roads were also closed on Miller's Island.

Queen Anne's County was one of the harder hit counties on the Eastern Shore by Floyd. Water rescues started at 10 a.m. EDT and continued all day. About 75 persons were evacuated to shelters. Fifty-five roads were closed during the height of the storm including major roadways such as U.S. Route 50 and Maryland State Routes 213, 291, 300, 304 and 313. Two 29-year-old men were injured when their pickup truck fell into a 30 foot by 30 foot hole on MD 304 near Centreville. Thirty-four roads were closed by either heavy flooding or minor to moderate damage. Twenty bridges or culverts were washed out or had substantial damage. All roads that were not badly damaged were reopened Saturday afternoon the 18th. All county roads were reopened by the 21st although eight bridges and three state roads were still closed. The number of bridge closings was down to six on October 2nd. In addition, fallen trees blocked about 70 roads throughout the county. Most of the damage occurred in the northern half of the county.

The worst flood related property damage occurred on the Queen Anne's side of Millington along the Chester River. Forty homes were damaged, 15 of them in Sandtown had six foot high water marks on the first floor. Ten homes and several businesses along the Tuckahoe Creek in Queen Anne were badly flooded. Some persons were still displaced on October 9th. Other townships that also were hit hard by flooding were Centreville, Church Hill and Sudlersville (The downtown area became an island.) Another effect of Floyd was a boom in the mosquito population throughout the Middle Atlantic States.

September 18, 2003

On September 18, 2003, Tropical Storm Isabel caused a record breaking tide and storm surge up the Chesapeake Bay, heavy rain and strong power outage producing winds. In Queen Anne's County, public and private damage was estimated at 37 million dollars. Thirty-seven homes were destroyed, 151 suffered major damage and 192 suffered minor damage. Most of the damage was caused by the tidal flooding, although four homes were damaged by fallen trees. The heavy rain did not coincide with the tidal flooding and occurred mainly from the afternoon of the 18th into the early morning of the 19th. There were no reports of stream related flooding due to the heavy rain. Because the heaviest rain with tropical systems often falls west of its storm track, the region was spared heavier rain. On the other hand, the strongest winds are often on the right side of the storm track. Winds gusted up to 58 mph in the bay and caused numerous trees, tree limbs and power lines to be knocked down. Storm totals included 2.14 inches in Stevensville.

October 7-8, 2005

On October 7-8, 2005, the combination of a very slow moving cold front and copious moisture from the remnants of Tropical Storm Tammy produced very heavy rain across the Maryland Eastern Shore. This heavy rain helped propel the state of Maryland to its second wettest October on record since 1895. The monthly statewide average precipitation total of 7.97 inches was 4.59 inches wetter than normal and only 1976 (8.05 inches) was wetter. The slow movement and stalling coupled with an unstable air mass and tropical moisture associated with Tammy helped enhance the torrential downpours. The flooding would have been even worse if not for the unseasonably dry weather that preceded this event from the middle of August.

September 1, 2006

On September 1, 2006, the combination of the remnants of Tropical Storm Ernesto and a large high pressure system over eastern Canada produced heavy rain and strong winds along the Maryland Eastern Shore. Rain moved into the area during the morning of the 1st and did not exit until around noon EDT on the 2nd. The heaviest rain took a long time to move north. In addition to the heavy rain, persistent east to northeast winds caused tree damage as the heavy rain loosened the root support and weighed down limbs. Strong winds started during the late morning on the 1st, peaked during the evening of the 1st and around midnight EDT on the 2nd and subsided before sunrise on the 2nd. Delmarva Power reported about 21,350 of its customers lost power on the 1st and 2nd. Actual storm totals included 2.50 inches in Stevensville. The low pressure system that was Ernesto moved slowly north. Of greater importance, was a strong high pressure system (greater than 1032 millibars) that remained over southeastern Canada and maintained the pressure gradient (difference) between it and the remnant low of Ernesto.

September 6, 2008

On September 6, 2008, Tropical Storm Hanna brought heavy rain, strong winds and some tidal flooding to the Eastern Shore during the day and into the evening of the 6th. Rain moved into the region during the morning, fell heavy at times from the late morning into the afternoon and ended during the evening. The eastbound lanes of the William Preston Lane Junior Memorial Bridge were closed during the morning of the 6th. It was reopened during the afternoon, but driving restrictions remained in place in both directions into the evening. The persistent strong winds knocked down several weak trees and limbs. This caused scattered power outages and a few road closures. Peak wind gusts included 49 mph in Stevensville. Precipitation totals included 1.80 inches in Church Hill.

January 25, 2010

Coastal flooding occurred on January 25, 2010 in Queen Anne’s County. The strong south winds up Chesapeake Bay also caused tidal flooding during the afternoon of the 25th in Queen Anne's County. The afternoon high tide caused flooding in the Kent Narrows area of Queen Anne's County. Flooding occurred along Maryland State Route 18 and Wharf Road in Chester. At high tide both directions of Maryland State Route 18 near Dundee Avenue was closed. The same roadway was also closed near Love Point. The strong southerly flow and rain ended after its cold front moved through the Eastern Shore during the early afternoon.

August 27-28, 2011

During August 27 through August 28, 2011, Hurricane Irene produced heavy flooding rain, tropical storm force wind gusts and caused one wind related death across the Eastern Shore. Preliminary damage estimates were around three million dollars and approximately 85,000 homes and businesses lost power. Tropical storm force wind gusts overspread the Eastern Shore during the afternoon and early evening of the 27th and persisted into the afternoon of the 28th. Peak wind gusts averaged 50 to 60 mph. Event precipitation totals averaged 6 to 12 inches and caused widespread field and roadway flooding. Because the flash flooding and flooding blended into one, all flooding related county entries were combined into one under flood events. On August 25, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley declared a state of emergency in preparation for Irene. In Queen Anne's County, in Queenstown, an 88-year-old woman was killed when a tree fell on a chimney, sending bricks through the glass roof of a sun room where she had taken refuge since it had emergency power. Some tomato, corn, and cantaloupe crops were destroyed.

October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy, unofficially known as Superstorm Sandy, made landfall near Brigantine, New Jersey on October 29, 2012. It brought heavy rainfall and high speed of wind to Queen Anne’s County, forcing officials to close Chesapeake Bay Bridge over the Chesapeake Bay and the Millard E. Tydings Memorial Bridge and Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge over the Susquehanna River in the midday hours.

November 2012

The county was declared a Disaster Area in November of 2012 but no severe damage was reported.

August 12, 2014

On August 12, 2014, a storm produced heavy rain, producing areas of flooding in several areas of the County.