Hurricanes and Automobiles

Hurricane Hazel

October 1954

In late September Hurricane Ian forged a destructive path across southern Florida and then struck the coast of South Carolina.  Scores of lives were lost, and there were billions of dollars of property damage.  Clean-up and recovery will take a long time.

In recent days I have read news reports of people experiencing bad aftereffects because of their automobiles being submerged  during the hurricane.  Electric cars have been particularly susceptible to trouble, with the batteries sometime exploding or bursting into flames.

This reminds me of my own family’s experiences during Hurricane Hazel in 1954.  It hit southeast North Carolina at full force, and our beach home suffered severe damage.  My father’s DeSoto automobile was submerged in salt water, the water level reaching just above the rear-view mirror.  After the storm and a period of drying out, Dad had his car worked on, cleaned up, and partly refurbished; but soon everything in the vehicle began to fall apart.

At this point my father exclaimed, “If someone comes along that I hate bad enough, I’ll give the darn thing (car) to them.”

History has a tendency to repeat itself.

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