Maine Hurricanes Carol and Edna in 1954

With the glancing blow to Maine by hurricane Kyle in the last 24 hours, I am reminded of the double hit from Maine hurricanes Carol and Edna in September 1954. At 5 years old, the most significant memory of those two storms passing through was witnessing one of 3 oak trees snapped like a twig in Derby, Maine.

The 3 oak trees mentioned stood in a row about 20 feet apart on the lawn of the Clarks who lived around the corner on Church Street in the first house on the right from my home on Railroad Street. Each tree was close to 3 feet thick, and it is hard to imagine the force needed to snap one in half. It happened to one in 1954, and now there are only two.

The sight of the stump and that flattened oak tree seems like yesterday. A direct hit with landfall from any hurricane in Maine is rare, and the last one was 17 years ago. Hurricanes Carol and Edna in 1954 were remarkable with each striking in tandem within 10 days. Kyle in September 2008 dumped plenty of rain without much physical damage, but the destruction just in Maine from those 1954 hurricanes exceeded $25 million.

Jim's handwritten signature

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