But how does Isaias stack up to other tropical disturbances that have hit the D.C. region?
For one thing, Isaias is far from the worst storm to impact the region, but it does share something with those other more powerful storms: a common first letter.
The D.C. region seems to attract “I-named” storms.
For example, the last hurricane to directly impact the region was Irene in 2011. The storm made landfall on Aug. 27, 2011, near Cape Lookout, North Carolina, as a Category 1 storm and brought heavy rainfall to the region — up to 11.5 inches in some areas in Southern Maryland.
The year before that, in 2003, Hurricane Isabel brought tropical storm force wind gusts and surge flooding. Then-Virginia Gov. Mark Warner called it “probably the worst storm in a generation.”
Isabel was the deadliest, costliest and most intense hurricane in that Atlantic hurricane season, according to meteorologist Chris Strong with the National Weather Service in Sterling, Virginia.
“It’s a very devastating track for storms coming at us directly rather than something that’s coming more up the coast,” he said. “And Isabel was just massive amounts of tidal flooding and trees down, knocking power out to many, many people.”
However, earlier storms packed even more powerful punches to the region.
Another storm that was the worst to hit the region in terms of the powerful winds was in 1954: Hurricane Hazel brought wind gusts of 98 mph and set a record that has yet to be broken.
Back-to-back Hurricanes Connie and Diane in 1955, as well as Agnes in 1972, were just as destructive — but through major flooding instead of high winds. Agnes dumped more than 12 inches of rain in a short amount of time, washing away homes and roads, and killing 13 people in Virginia and 19 people in Maryland.