On July 23, 1788 after causing ship disasters southeast of Bermuda, a hurricane moved northwestward over the tidewater area of Virginia, and right over George Washington's Mt. Vernon Plantation. At Ocracoke Inlet, southwest of Cape Hatteras, 6 ships were wrecked and 11 were driven ashore with 2 dismasted. As the storm center passed just to the east of this point, the wind shifted. This caught ships unaware and added to the disaster. An account from Norfolk stated that: "at 3am the wind suddenly shifted from northeast to south and blew a perfect hurricane - tearing up large trees by the roots, removing houses, throwing down chimney, fences, and laying the greatest part of the corn level." The following day on July 24th, George Washington wrote in his diary: "about noon the wind suddenly shifted from northeast to southwest and blew the remaining part of the day violently from that quarter. The tide this time rose higher than it was ever known to do, driving boats, etc. into fields where no tide had ever been heard of before, and must, it is apprehended, have done infinite damage on their wharves at Alexandria, Norfolk, Baltimore, etc. At home all day." It would take more than a year to repair the damage to those ports.
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