MA, NY, NC Hurricane EDNA, Sept 1954

Hurricane Edna, Sept 1954



New York -- (AP) -- Hurricane Edna raged toward the eastern tip of Long Island today where landsmen felt the first thrust of its fury since its birth many days ago far down in the Caribbean.
At 10 a.m. EDT, the center of the storm's 125-mile-an-hour winds was charted 100 miles south of Montauk Point, the tip of Ling Island 125 miles east of New York City.
Disaster directors there reported the Montauk highways inundated by the rising waters of the Atlantic and the tip of the island cut off. About 500 persons had been evacuated from the Montauk area by early today, said CHARLES MONSIR, head of the Red Cross disaster unit in East Hampton.
The winds were rising fast and the ocean was white and combing on the long beaches.
New England braced itself. It had more advance warning and was better prepared than when hurricane Carol smashed through the area 11 days ago, leaving 58 dead and property damage of nearly a half billion dollars.
The hurricane was gathering headway speed as it spun toward southern New England.
Loafing off the Carolina coast at 10 miles an hour yesterday, it now was bearing down at 30 miles an hour.
In a million coastal homes people watched and waited. The Carolinas, Virginia, Maryland and southern New Jersey felt heavy winds and rain -- but most of the hurricane stayed at sea.
New York harbor, normally the busiest in the nation, was quiet. Ships rode at double anchor, crews alerted. Only ferried and an occasional brave coal barge rode the high tides in the swirling rain.
Coast Guardsmen, police and Red Cross officials were evacuating residents of low-lying areas on Long Island. Hundreds of other were evacuated from low-lying areas of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island long before the storm was due.
Everywhere people recalled the fury of the 1938 New England hurricane which piled up tidal waves that swept over lowlands with a loss of hundreds of lives.
In Atlantic City, where Miss America of 1954 is to be picked tonight, 60-mile-an-hour winds buffeted the beaches at 8:30 a.m. At that hour the center of the storm was 100 miles due east of the resort city.
Flights to and from New York's LaCuardia Field were canceled. Many civilian as well as all military planes have been dispersed from the northeast's danger zone -- some as far west as Ohio.
Red Cross headquarters in Washington said it had prepared the largest mobilization since the 1938 hurricane. It has 59 emergency shelters open in New England, 43 of them in Rhode Island.
Hotels were crowded all along the coast as householders deserted their beachfront homes. The largest hotel in New Bedford, Mass., was filled as early as last evening. This pattern was repeated throughout southern New England.
Some trains to the Boston and Cape Cod areas were canceled by the New Haven Railroad which declined to move passengers into that danger zone.
The alert extended all the way along the coast to Maine -- and even to Halifax, Nova Scotia, whre vessels scurried for port.
The destiny of Hurricane Edna -- the season's fifth and named after the fifth letter of the alphabet -- still was in doubt in midmorning. Time would tell whether she was the worst hurricane of the year. Certainly she was the best advertised.
Perhaps smarting under criticism that it didn't give enough advance warning of hurricane Carol, the Weather Bureau from Miami to Maine bore down on Edna. Bulletins moved out from all coastal bureaus with alaerity. Reconnaissance planes penetrated to the calm eye of the storm to chart its speed and course.

The Gastonia Gazette North Carolina 1954-09-11