Arts & Culture

Images of America: Hurricane Hazel in the Carolinas by Jay Barnes

  • By Sarah Fauser

Jay Barnes compiles memorable black-and-white images from the aftermath of Hurricane Hazel and the devastation it left in its wake.

Hurricane Hazel

When Hurricane Hazel slammed the east coast of North Carolina in October 1954, residents of Carolina and Wrightsville beaches were seemingly unprepared for the destruction that the monstrous storm wrought. In his book, Jay Barnes compiles memorable black-and-white images from the aftermath of the storm and the devastation it left in its wake.

Arcadia Publishing. 2010, 127 pages, paperback, $21.99.

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5 Responses to Images of America: Hurricane Hazel in the Carolinas by Jay Barnes

  1. charles lee says:

    I grew up in Dunn, N C and was 12 years old at the time of Hazel. I remember that when the eye of the storm came that school was let out. After thinking that the storm was over and I was home safe and sound, low and behold here comes the remaining part of the storm. I think back now and wonder if anyone at that time even knew about the eye of a hurricane and the peace and calm that comes with it. I knew this was something I had never seen before and The Dunn Dispatch and Daily Record photos that followed in the next few days really let everyone know just what had happened. The number of trees blown down in and around Dunn was unreal. I wish I had some of the photos of the destruction that was produced on that Oct.
    15, 1954. Thanks to Our State for your article in your August, 2012.

  2. Denise Everhart Barnes says:

    I was not born when Hurricane Hazel hit the NC Coast in 1954, but I have grown up hearing the stories from my parents. My dad, Cliff Everhart, built two houses (for Charles Leach, Dr. Harris, and Red Johnson) and remodeled one (for Charles Cline) in the early 50s on Long Beach (Oak Island). He and my mother later stayed at the Leach/Harris house on vacation. When Hurricane Hazel decimated Long Beach, Dad and “Shorty” Childress, a pilot from Thomasville, flew over the beach and Dad recalls seeing houses floating in the ocean. Later, he and Mom went down to Long Beach with the Leaches and Mom recalls seeing refrigerators, toilets, and other items sticking up in the sand, but no houses. The only evidence that was ever found of the Leach/Harris house was one fork.
    The house I spent many summers at on Holden Beach, was carried across the Intracoastal Waterway. They floated it back to the beach side on a barge, built a duplex apartment under it and it still stands today (very much oceanfront property now).
    Denise Everhart Barnes
    Thomasville, NC

  3. Denise Barnes says:

    I was not born when Hurricane Hazel hit the NC Coast in 1954, but I have grown up hearing the stories from my parents. My dad, Cliff Everhart, built two houses (for Charles Leach, Dr. Harris, and Red Johnson) and remodeled one (for Charles Cline) in the early 50s on Long Beach (Oak Island). He and my mother later stayed at the Leach/Harris house on vacation. When Hurricane Hazel decimated Long Beach, Dad and “Shorty” Childress, a pilot from Thomasville, flew over the beach and Dad recalls seeing houses floating in the ocean. Later, he and Mom went down to Long Beach with the Leaches and Mom recalls seeing refrigerators, toilets, and other items sticking up in the sand, but no houses. The only evidence that was ever found of the Leach/Harris house was one fork.
    The house I spent many summers at on Holden Beach, was carried across the Intracoastal Waterway. They floated it back to the beach side on a barge, built a duplex apartment under it and it still stands today (very much oceanfront property now).
    Denise Everhart Barnes
    Thomaville, NC

  4. Bivian A. Grady says:

    I was age 10 went Hazel came to visit. I rode out the stome in a 55 gal drum in my parents tobacco pack house. My Mother thought a large oak would blow down on the house so she moved us to the tobacco pack house. The tobacco pack house door faced in the wind it blew the door open and blew so hard we my two sisters and I could not close the door so we put the 55 gal drums in frunt of the door we got in the drums. The wind raised the whole building of the foundation up in the air the drums would roll to the back of the building. When it dropped down we would get out and put them back in frunt of the door and it would raise the build up again and we would go to the back of the building again. We did this until the wind died down. The sun came out for 30 or 40 minutes then the wind came from the other direction and lasted until it was over. I have heard we were in to eye of the hurricane when the sun came out and it was calm for 30 or 40 minutes. There is more to this story of Hazel but it would take to long to write. It was the most scarry times of my life.

  5. BILLY M TEW says:

    I WAS DRIVING A SCHOOL BUS DOWN IN SAMPSON COUNTY AT THE TIME OF HURRICANE HAZEL I WAS IN THE 10thGRADE AT MINGO HIGH SCHOOL WHEN I BACKED THE BUS IN THE YARD THE WIND WAS SO BAD I HAD TO STAY IN THE BUS UNTIL IT WAS OVER I SAT THERE WATCHING TREES FALL I WAS NOT AFRAID BUT I HAD NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THAT I SAT IN THE BUS ALMOST AN HOUR BEFORE I COULD GO TO THE HOUSE BILLY MAC TEW

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