Thursday, March 07, 2013

Ash Wednesday Storm

We had a winter storm yesterday. The wind was blowing 25-35 mph, and there was flooding on Hatteras Island. Ferries did not run for much of the day because of high winds. 

Fifty-one years ago today "The Great Atlantic Coast Storm of 1962" struck the Outer Banks. David Stick, in his 1986 book, "The Ash Wednesday Storm" (the local name for this late winter northeaster), describes it as a "horrifying experience."

As Stick relates in his preface, the storm "struck almost without warning early in the morning...with devastating results. Through five successive high tides over a period of two and a half days the massive waves, fetching from far out in the Atlantic, pounded against the fragile dunes and beaches and surged across the low barrier islands."

I believe Stick's book is out of print, but its first hand accounts of this powerful storm, along with photographs (from 1962 by Aycock Brown, and from 1986 by WalterV. Gresham III) are dramatic reminders of the power of Mother Nature.

Maybe your local library can get you a copy.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the unique "Ocracoke Greeting." You can read it here:

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