Having lived on the coast of South Carolina I’ve had more experience with hurricanes than I like. We actually moved to the mountains of western North Carolina in large part because of flooding from Hurricane Floyd in 1999.
But the mountains are not immune from the ravages of hurricane weather!
In The Sound of Rain, I centered the story around Hurricane Hazel, which struck the coast near the NC/SC state line in 1954. Thus far, it’s been the ONLY category 4 hurricane to hit North Carolina. But that’s far from the only thing that made Hazel exceptional.
She hit at high tide during the full moon causing an 18-foot storm surge. There are harrowing stories of people stuck in trees, in attics, and swept away never to be seen again. But that wasn’t the worst of Hazel.
Most storms lose their steam after they make landfall. Hazel made her way north, hugging the eastern edge of the Appalachian Mountains through Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Wind gusts near 100 mph were felt as far north as New York. It was also an incredibly fast-moving storm, making landfall in the Carolinas the morning of October 15 and reaching Canada the following day.
The storm wrapped up the worst of her rampage in Toronto where she still had the strength of a category 1 hurricane and caused catastrophic flooding and destruction.
In The Sound of Rain, Judd Markley helps survivors in Myrtle Beach, SC, before heading home to West Virginia to help his family with damage there. While a purely fictional account, it was accurate. My home state was dramatically impacted by the storm–especially in the southeastern part of the state.
I hope, wherever you are, you’re safe from the storm. And I pray Florence isn’t one of those storms we’re still talking about decades later!
From everything I’m reading, Florence is moving very slowly and will leave amazing amounts of rain behind her…
That was what Floyd did. Dumped a HUGE amount of rain and in the lowcountry it simply has no place to go.
Sound of Rain describes the hurricane so well—we have wind storms but not hurricanes. Hope all are safe.
The sort of “good” thing about Hazel was how fast it moved. Florence looks to be moving in for the weekend!
Watch out for those languorous weekend visitors—their presence can be more devastating than the fast and furious visitors. Let’s hope Flo is more polite than what people are predicting.
Wow, Sarah! I can’t imagine that much water. I’m praying over that storm. And I so loved The Sound of Rain. ❤
We know the One who controls the wind and the water!