To some people, "Hazel" might be best remembered as a 1960s sitcom about a maid with a lot of personality. But in this area and many other places in the East, that name is forever linked to a hurricane that caused great wind damage in mid-October 1954.

Hurricane Hazel came ashore near the South Carolina - North Carolina border the morning of October 15, 1954, and moved so fast that it reached our area that evening. The center passed close to Harrisburg, but Hazel's intensity and speed combined to produce the highest wind gusts ever officially recorded in Wilmington, 98 mph, and in Philadelphia, 94 mph. Power was knocked out to more than 80% of all Delaware homes, some for more than three days.

Such fast-moving hurricanes often don't have time to produce lots of rain, and that was true of Hazel. Most places got an inch or less, so there's no mistaking Hazel for Floyd. Hazel was a windstorm, the worst this area has seen in modern times.

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