NWDHurricanesHurricane Carol: What Happened and What Consequences for the Population Had

Hurricane Carol: What Happened and What Consequences for the Population Had

hurricane carol 1954 path

Hurricane Carol was one of the most powerful hurricanes ever to hit New England. A terrible event happened in 1954. Due to the strength of the hurricane, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration refused to give it a name for another 10 years after the incident.

As the hurricane Carol in 1954 swept through Rhode Island and eastern Connecticut and Massachusetts, it claimed dozens of lives and hurt hundreds more. Everything was destroyed: houses, cars, buildings, boats, and even crops. For several days, a huge area was cut off from the electricity, through which hurricane Carol walked. It was one of the worst hurricanes in history.

Hurricane Carol Path

Having originated in the so-called “horse latitudes” (30-35 degrees – the calm strip of the Atlantic Ocean), east of Jacksonville (Florida), Hurricane Carol on August 26, 1954, ominously entered the life of the region. The high-pressure front from Bermuda and the high-pressure area from the west formed a channel to the Atlantic coast.

If the two high-pressure systems did not converge at one point, “Carol” could remain just a minor storm. But it happened. Unlike the events of 1944, the weather bureau was unable to relay the message of the hurricane to the people, and Labor Day celebrators on Long Island beaches were unaware of the impending natural disaster. Luckily for them, the Carol hit Long Island at low tide, so there was no huge tidal wave. But the storm surges were strong enough to cut off Long Island Cape, with 5,000 tourists and fishermen there. The waves destroyed roads, railways and cut off the area from the rest of the island.

hurricane carol in 1954

When the hurricane hit the Connecticut coastline, the weather bureau had not yet issued a warning. The hurricane hit Narragansett Bay at high tide. He flooded Misquamicut Beach and washed away 200 houses.

Waves, driven by winds at speeds of up to 200 kilometers per hour, rushed to the beaches of Block Island, Rhode Island, and Martha’s Vineyard (Massachusetts), flooded freshwater ponds with saltwater. On Martha’s Vineyard Island, the hurricane razed Vineyard Haven, Edgartown, and especially Menemsha to the ground, burying these places under a pile of rubble.

An ancient, time-honored casino has collapsed in Newport, Rhode Island. Steep waves washed travelers off the coast freeway in cars. In South Kington, a wave of 8 cars with people fleeing from summer cottages swirled around, many passengers drowned. The ten-meter wave swept through Westerly and Watch Hill, Rhode Island. In the center of Providence, the water level rose to the 1938 watermark.

In Massachusetts, New Bedford’s harbor was flooded with broken boats, yachts, docks, barges, sailboats, trailers, tugboats, and houses. The fishermen have washed off the boats. Firefighters extinguished the fire that broke out in Wareham, standing up to their neck in water.

Finally, hurricane warnings came in from the weather bureau. Reported just as the spire of the Old Church in Boston cracked, swayed, and fell off. It fell before – in 1904, exactly 150 years ago, during a hurricane in New England.

Hurricane Carol in 1954, Damage Facts

hurricane carol 1954 facts

Grain crops were severely damaged in Worcester County, and Harry R. Davis was killed in the town of the same name. He was blown off the 10th floor of the office building when he opened the emergency exit door.

During the hurricane Carol in 1954, more than 10,000 houses were damaged, of which 1,545 were destroyed.

Almost half of the fruit and vegetable crops were wiped off the ground. (Tomatoes, corn, apples, and peaches)

About three thousand boats and more than three and a half thousand vehicles were destroyed.

Damage after hurricane Carol in 1954 amounted to about $642 million, after which the hurricane became known as the most expensive hurricane in the world.

But the most important thing are human lives. 65 people died in hurricane Carol on Rhode Island. More than a thousand people were injured. Hurricane Carol’s date is the date of a terrible event in New England that will be remembered for a long time. It was the hurricane Carol that caused significant damage not only to the residents of the area through which it walked but to the whole of New England!

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