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Gaston - 2004
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HURRICANE GASTON

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Gaston Nears the Carolinas

A cold front moved off the east coast of the United States on August 22. This front eventually stalled, and an area of low pressure formed, and it eventually became Tropical Depression Seven on August 27. The same frontal system also gave birth to Tropical Storm Hermine just two days later. It became Tropical Storm Gaston early on August 28. The storm meandered off the coast of South Carolina for the rest of the day. Gaston gradually strengthened on August 29, as steering currents became more prominent and the storm moved towards the coast. It continued to become better organized as it moved towards the coast, and made landfall with 70 mph winds near Charleston, South Carolina on the afternoon of August 29. Gaston continued inland, weakening to a tropical depression on August 30.

The storm accelerated northeastward, eventually returning to the sea and regaining Tropical Storm status. The storm passed sixty miles south of Nantucket and became extratropical on September 1, south of the Canadian Maritimes. It dissipated and was absorbed into a larger extratropical system south of Iceland. While originally thought to be a strong tropical storm at landfall, further research led to the conclusion that it was in fact a Category 1 Hurricane at landfall with winds of 75 mph. Many areas experienced flooding, and total damages were estimated at around 130 million US dollars. Eight deaths occured in the Richmond, Virginia vicinity due to flash flooding from the heavy rains.

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