Track of the San Ciriaco Hurricane.

San Ciriaco Hurricane, 1899

Rasmus Midgett sits on wreckage of the Priscilla. He single-handedly saved ten people from this ship during the hurricane.

NC Division of Archives and History; printed in The Great Hurricanes of North Carolina by John Hairr.

The San Ciriaco hurricane was the longest-lived Atlantic storm ever tracked. It lasted for 36 days, and its last gasps of wind reached all the way to coastal France. The storm earned its name by striking Puerto Rico on Saint Ciriaco’s Day and killing hundreds on the island. By the time it reached the Outer Banks of North Carolina, it may have intensified to a Category Five hurricane. Entire islands were flooded and fishing villages were destroyed. Some villages never recovered and relocated further inland. Out at sea, more than a dozen ships wrecked or sunk, and many sailors and fishermen lost their lives.

Hurricane Statistics
Storm Type:
Cat. 3
Total Deaths:
Total Cost:
(no data)
NC Landfall:
NC Wind Speed:
140 mph
NC Storm Surge:
(no data)
NC Rainfall:
(no data)
NC Pressure:
28.55 in
San Ciriaco Timeline
Aug 02 Strengthens to a Tropical Storm in the mid-Atlantic
Aug 05 Strengthens to a Category One hurricane
Aug 07 Passes over the eastern Caribbean as a Category Four
Aug 08 Hits Puerto Rico on Saint Ciriaco's Day; hundreds are killed
Aug 12 Passes over the Bahamas as a Category Three
Aug 17  
morning Landfall near Hatteras as a Category Three
9:00 pm Cargo ship Priscilla wrecks
Aug 18  
4:00 am Survivors of the Priscilla rescued
8:00 am Drifts back out to sea as a Category One
Aug 21 Weakens to a Tropical Storm in the mid-North Atlantic
Sept 04 Dissipates at sea near Europe
Sept 09 Remnants of the storm felt in France

All dollar amounts have been adjusted for inflation as of 2009.