View 47 photos of Hurricane Hazel in Carolina Beach, Oct. 15 1954: Brummitt Collection
The Federal Point Historic Preservation Society will hold its monthly meeting on Monday, October 17, 7:30 p.m. at the Federal Point History Center, 1121-A North Lake Park Blvd., adjacent to Carolina Beach Town Hall.
This month our program will be “Remembering Hazel.” Steve Pfaff, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, returns to give an overview and how Hazel rates in the history of North Carolina hurricanes.
In addition we have Byron Moore and Charlie (Tommy) Greene, both long time members of our Society, on board to talk about their personal experiences during and after Hazel.
From Wikipedia: At landfall on October 15, 1954, the hurricane brought a storm surge of over 18 feet to a large area of coastline, producing severe coastal damage; the damage was greater since the hurricane coincided with the highest lunar tide of the year.
Brunswick County, North Carolina, suffered the heaviest damage, where most coastal dwellings were either destroyed or severely damaged. For example, in Long Beach, North Carolina, only five of the 357 buildings were left standing.
The official report from the Weather Bureau in Raleigh, North Carolina stated that as a result of Hazel, “all traces of civilization on the immediate waterfront between the state line and Cape Fear were practically annihilated.” According to NOAA, “every pier in a distance of 170 miles of coastline was demolished”.
Nineteen people were killed in North Carolina, with several hundred more injured; 15,000 homes were destroyed and another 39,000 were damaged. The number of people left homeless by the storm was “uncounted thousands.” Damages in the Carolinas amounted to $163 million, with $61 million incurred by beachfront property. Total damage in the United States ranged from $281 million to $308 million.
While Hazel caused the most damage in the Carolinas, the storm did not lose all of its intensity. Going north, Hazel turned extratropical by midday when it merged with a cold front; however, it retained hurricane-strength winds and it was continuing to drop heavy rainfall.