Letters to the Editor

The storm of 1940 worth remembering

I read with interest and a little consternation your Sept. 21 article on hurricane frequency.

No mention was made of a Category 2 storm that struck Beaufort in August 1940, commonly called "The '40 Storm."

It caused a great deal of destruction in Beaufort. Boats were piled up over the seawall on the bay, people living on the Old Point were rescued by boat, power lines were downed, homes near the water were washed away, Hunting Island suffered severe erosion from the tidal surge and wave action, and lives were lost.

Effects of the storm can still be seen on the waterfronts around the county. I do remember seeing trees go down around our house on Pigeon Point, my grandfather's pile driver resting in the lot behind Horne Motor Company on Bay Street and the house at the north end of New Street missing.

I am sure that most of the old-time residents of Beaufort remember it well.

For those who have never experienced a hurricane, a word of caution: Don't wait until the last minute if you intend to evacuate. Aside from the probable traffic mess, a tidal surge of only six feet can render the roads out of this area impassable.

Just look at the difference between the tide on one of our normal spring tides and the road surface and consider what and additional six feet would be. It's best to not take a chance and leave when the governor orders an evacuation -- if not before.

Royal W. Fyfe