Hurricane Bob mostly skirted the eastern seaboard, eroding Jersey beaches and felling trees on Long Island. He saved his wraith for New England, crashing into Rhode Island as a category 2 hurricane.
Okay, well, there was that. But Bob was 20 years ago and the last one before that was way back in...
Hurricane Gloria was category 2 when she made landfall on Long Island. Gloria drenched New York City with over 3 inches of rain before plowing through New England. The damage path ranged from North Carolina to Nova Scotia.
Okay, smart guy. So when was the last eastern seaboard hurricane before Gloria?
Hurricane Donna in 1960.
Hurricanes in New York are not all that rare. On average they happen once every twenty years. Twenty years is longer than the average careerspan of a network anchor so, in dog (and Brian Williams) years, New York hurricanes can be described as "once in a lifetime" events.