Various Locations, NC, SC, VA, PA, NY, NJ, DE, MD Hurricane HAZEL, Oct 1954
EASTERN CAROLINAS HURRICANE DAMAGE EXPECTED TO RUN INTO MANY MILLIONS.
MARTIAL LAW IS DECLARED ALONG BEACHES.
Wilmington, N.C., Oct. 15 (AP) -- Damage reports piled up tonight from the eastern Carolinas, ravaged by Hurricane Hazel's 130-mile-an-hour winds.
No estimate of damage was made, but apparently it will run into the millions of dollars.
Martial law was declared along South Carolina beaches by Gov. James F. Byrnes after reports of extensive looting of wrecked and abandoned beach homes and resorts.
The Civil AIr Patrol at Charlotte reported that martial law had been declared at Wrightsville Beach, N.C., although there were no reports of looting.
Gov. William B. Umstead ordered North Carolina National Guard units to Wilmington at the request of the city manager. The troops assisted in the evacuation from the stricken area.
Schools were closed and public meetings called off in areas in the path of the storm.
Early victims included fishing piers poking their long fingers out into the Atlantic. A pier at Spivey's Beach, south of Myrtle Beach, S.C., was swept away by the huge waves. An 800-foot pier at Tilghman's Beach was washed away.
At Myrtle Beach the Second Avenue pier was wrecked, as was the Ocean Plaza pier.
Water flooded the USO building at Myrtle Beach and seeped into many houses. Breakers crashed over the Boulevard which runs along behind the front row of beach homes.
The medical company of the 118th Infantry of the South Carolina National Guard was ordered to Georgetown, S.C., to handle storm casualties from the Georgetown-Myrtle Beach areas.
At Charlotte, C. L. Lott, North Carolina manager of the Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Co. said reports indicated hundreds of telephones were down in Wilmington. He said 80 percent of the long distance circuits between here and the rest of the state were knocked out.
At Clinton, N.C., high winds blew down the main exhibit at the Sampson County Fair. Electric power was off and telephones down at Clinton.
Water was reported waist deep around the police station and stores at Carolina Beach, N.C. At Wilmington water reached the doors of parked cars.
At Bennettsville, S.C., Radio Station WBSC was off the air. Traffic was jammed and electric service was out in one-third of the city.
One minor injury was reported at Bennettsville, ROY LEE MEACHUM was slightly injured whan a tree blew down on his service station.
At Elizabeth City, N.C., winds up to 44 m.p.h. were reported. Water reached a depth of 12-14 inches on the main street. Sandbag barriers wre hastily thrown up in front of stores. Houes along the Pasquotank River were inundated. There were no reports of serious damage however.
The Coast Guard Lifeboat Station at Oak Island at the mouth of the Cape Fear River reported widespread damage. Piers and pilings were swept away, small boats were in danger of loss. Roads were impassable due to flood waters and debris.
At Atlanta, the Red Cross reported some 400 persons were given temporary shelter by the Horry County, S.C. chapter. Shelters also were opened in Brunswick, Carteret, Onslow, Pasquotank, Pender and New Hanover counties in North Carolina.
Red Cross relief workers were on duty along the coast from Charleston, S.C., to Elizabeth City.
At the Cherry Point Marine Base more than 300 persons were sheltered at the station theater and at a school in nearby Havelock. The base moved more than 90 aircraft inland to bases in Illinois, Kansas and Tennessee. Other planes were secured in weather-proof hangars. No serious injuries were reported.
At Rocky Mount, N.C., J. F. Havens, vice president of the Carolina Telephone and Telegraph Co., said telephone service was out at Jacksonville, Beaufort, Topsail Island, Atlantic, Vance boro and Holly Ridge.
He estimated damage to telephone lines at "many thousands of dollars."
The State Highway Patrol at Fayetteville reported 10 persons were marooned at Topsail Island when the bridge there was washed out. The patrol said Highway Patrolman W. F. Proctor was marooned on a causeway in Brunswick County when power lines blew down across the road. Proctor was not in danger, the patrol said.
The highway patrol reported a Seaboard Air Line Railroad train had been halted between Hamlet and Wilmington because of weak bridges.
The Robesonian Lumberton North Carolina 1954-10-15
(Transcriber's Note: Hurricane Hazel cause 95 deaths in the United States and 102 deaths in Canada. Truly one of the most devastating hurricanes ever, the name Hazel was retired from use for named storms. Very many sites on the internet can provide much more information on this disaster.)