Civil Rights Era,  North Carolina History

Historical Images: Hurricane Hazel (1954)

An unknown man navigates the destruction left behind by Hurricane Hazel on Carolina Beach, North Carolina, in this photograph by Hugh Morton.

On the morning of October 15, 1954, the powerful Category 4 storm blew ashore on the border of North and South Carolina bringing winds of 150 mph to the coastal regions of the states. According to the National Weather Service, storm surge in Calabash reached as high as 18 feet. Even as the storm moved inland, it brought wind gusts of 100 mph to areas around Fayetteville and Raleigh. In the aftermath of the hurricane, the Weather Bureau in Raleigh issued an official report stating that “all traces of civilization on the immediate waterfront between the state line and Cape Fear were practically annihilated.”

Photo courtesy of: State Archives of North Carolina, Bill Wright Papers via Flickr