Flooding occurred from Highland Creek in the east to the Credit River in the west. Outlook for Sunday cloudy and cool. Many brave rescue efforts were undertaken, even though the current was strong enough to endanger most boats. The intensity of this storm has decreased to the point where it should no longer be classed as a hurricane. Weather. Hurricane Hazel Storm Surge The already remarkable damage Hazel inflicted was exacerbated by the timing at which the hurricane struck. At this point it already had winds of 160 km/h. Several would-be rescuers launched missions to save stranded people, only to need rescuing themselves. The information was also sent to Marconi stations so that vessels on the Great Lakes could be warned of the approaching storm. The Toronto Star reported that 246 billion litres of rain fell on the combined Don and Humber watersheds. The storm killed as many as 1,000 people in Haiti before striking the United States near the border between North and South Carolina, as a Category 4 hurricane. The two maps here show Hazel’s rainfall over Ontario (from Mason). Turnbull spent much of the afternoon and evening fielding calls for interviews from local media regarding the approaching storm and conducted four radio broadcasts to advise the public that Hazel would reach Toronto Friday night. (Toronto Star, 14 October 1984). October 15 - Hazel makes landfall in the Carolinas around noon as a marginal Category 4 hurricane. Low tonight and high Saturday at Toronto, St. Catherines, and Hamilton, 45 and 55 [7 and 13°C]. (October 15, 1954). Cloudy with occasional showers Saturday. October 16 - By morning, Hazel II was in Northern Ontario. Basing their decisions on past flood experiences, many residents did not evacuate, despite warnings to do so. October 12 - Hazel crosses the western tip of Haiti, killing more than 400 people. ETs are an ongoing concern for Canada in that they are amongst the most difficult meteorological forecast challenges and they can bring a surprising severity of weather. Toronto was getting drenched, and Hazel had yet to arrive. After moving inland from the Carolina coast, Hazel seemed to abate over the Alleghenies, where American meteorologists predicted its dissipation. Instead, the water ran off the surface into local rivers, wh… It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Shortly after midnight, telephones in police stations throughout the city began ringing off the hook. The first deaths were reported at 11:00 p.m. as a car was swept into the Humber River killing the occupants. After consulting with the Central Analysis Office, a Special Weather Bulletin was issued over a private teletype network, by telephone to local radio stations and to commercial interests that had identified themselves on a severe weather call list. This remarkable contrast pinpoints the storm centre over Toronto exactly at midnight. “It was like dumping a lake the size of Lake Simcoe on the Humber River drainage area and having it all trying to get out by way of the river at once,” Turnbull told the Toronto Star (October 23, 1954). The contour lines on these maps can be interpreted as a flow of air at that level, where lines that are closer together represent stronger winds. 5 FACTS ABOUT HURRICANE HAZEL. The result was not unlike throwing kerosene on a newly-formed fire: an explosive atmospheric reaction. Despite the difficulties, many lives were saved because of the quick action of police, fire personnel and citizens. Services and information. Passenger trains were knocked off their tracks. When the cold front entered western Ontario near Windsor, it was advancing eastward at about 40 kilometres an hour. (October 15, 1954), Map (from Knox) shows a zoom into the area near the Great Lakes, from 6:30 p.m. EDT shows the position of the front (still near Toronto) and the elongated area of low pressure... with the dying centre of Hazel I still evident. Our team will be reviewing your submission and get back to you with any further questions. The effects of Hurricane Hazel in Canada included 81 deaths and C$137,552,400 ($1,126,947,163 in 2009) in damages. Two of the dams, Bolton and Woodbridge, were opened entirely and two, Pine Grove and Palgrave, were partly washed away. October 13 - Hazel exits northward through channel between Haiti and Cuba then turns northwest toward the, October 14 - Hazel increases forward speed toward. The flood hit Woodbridge first, but was waylaid by a bridge, which acted as a temporary dam. Lessons were learned from the tragic loss of life and environmental devastation of Hurricane Hazel. Hurricane Hazel had managed to do the unthinkable. By 14 October, Hazel was battering th… Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. “Hurricane Hazel moved inland near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, this morning. October 11 - Hazel tracks northward toward Haiti. • Hurricane Hazel dumped 300 million tonnes of rain on the city of Toronto. The centre is called the eye. The result was a much more intense storm system over Atlantic Canada than would have otherwise developed, with Newfoundland waters experiencing hurricane force winds and fatalities. Simultaneously, a rapid and continuous transformation of energy resulted in the formation of Hazel II, the extratropical cyclone, over New York State. The weather office’s switchboard registered on average one call every 20 seconds for a total of 2,300 calls. The storm centre moved directly over the city of Toronto near midnight. The resulting cyclone--known now to meteorologists as ET storms--can be weaker or more intense than the incipient tropical cyclone, depending on the timing or phasing of a number of atmospheric components. Hurricane Hazel, with all its wrath and fury was tearing across Toronto, a city that in 1954 possessed one million inhabitants. Winds will increase slightly to 45 to 50 MPH [72 – 80 km/h] until midnight, then slowly decrease throughout the remainder of the night. The trough continues “digging” southward while the ridge over Atlantic Canada amplifies greatly. The legacy of Hurricane Hazel has significantly reduced the potential for riverine-related flood damages across Ontario. They worked all night and by daybreak had saved 50 lives. Two men, Murray and Clyde Deadder, were killed when their car was caught in floodwaters in Thistletown, where 12 families were left homeless. Hurricane hunters first identified Hazel on the afternoon of 5 October 1954, about 75 kilometres east of the island of Grenada in the West Indies. In 1959, the Metropolitan Toronto and Region Conservation Authority initiated plans for the development of large dams, reservoirs, and major flood-control channels, and for an erosion-control program. The Toronto Bell Cote will be hosting a remembrance of Hurricane Hazel’s impact on Toronto some 65 years ago. One inch of rain on one square mile of land equals 14.5 million gallons of water; for the entire watershed, approximately 151 billion litres of water fell during Hazel or 200 million tons (Kennedy). Nowhere is the saying, “timing is everything,” truer, than in meteorology. A lot happens in the final 24 hours between the last two maps. Many would not survive the night. The storm tracked along the coast of Venezuela before suddenly swerving northward towards Haiti, where it left between 400 and 1000 people dead and destroyed 40% of the island's coffee trees and 50% of the cacao crop, adversely affecting the economy for several years to come. The city had declared an emergency! Articles, timelines & resources for teachers, students & public. The Toronto area had experienced above average rainfall that autumn, especially in the two weeks prior to Hazel’s arrival, saturating the ground and preventing the rainfall from infiltrating the soil. The development of “Hazel II” resulted in an apparent northwestward-jump of the storm centre and many storm track climatologies mistakenly show Hazel’s motion as continuous just south of Lake Ontario. Here, however, the storm was re-energized by a low-pressure system and broke loose towards Lake Ontario and Toronto. (Kennedy, 1979), Turnbull’s post-Hazel report, summarizing the weather office’s handling of the storm stated, “ The issuing of a weather bulletin, particularly advising of the approach of a hurricane, is a serious step and not to be taken lightly. Since storms of this nature seldom follow our predicted course, and rarely travel 1100 kilometres [700 miles] overland retaining sufficient energy to be alarming, we decided to consult our Central Analysis Office in Montreal before issuing a special bulletin. For its savagery, Hurricane Hazel was honoured by having its name retired, joining those names such as Andrew, Donna, Mitch and Carla that will never be used again. In the eye of a hurricane there is a calm area of blue sky. When the bridge failed to hold back the floodwaters, flooding cascaded down the river valley occasionally slowing at other bottlenecks, but hitting communities with tremendous force. Around the eye there are very strong winds – a minimum speed of 120 kilometres per hour – accompanied by torrential rains. Was Toronto properly warned about Hurricane Hazel? Usually, this blog tends to focus on historical weather events in their major anniversary years, e.g., 25th, 40th, 50th, etc. The map below shows the tracks of Hazel I & II. At midnight, Malton reported west-southwest winds while the Toronto Island reported east winds. The shaded area depicts rainfall, which can be seen to connect from Hazel all the way to an area of low pressure north of Lake Superior. Three events took place with almost sinister timing to cause catastrophic flooding in Toronto: pre-Hazel rainfall which saturated the ground; a deep and intensifying atmospheric trough approaching from the west; Hurricane Hazel approaching from the south. Please contact us to request a format other than those available. The development strengthens the northward flowing airstream over the eastern continent while also setting up the potential for a strong storm system to form somewhere near or south of the Great Lakes. “Shipping interests on Lake Erie and Lake Ontario should take precautions against the possible occurrence of winds of 64 to 117 kilometres per hour [40 to 70 miles per hour].” (Kennedy, 1979; p. 38) A second bulletin was issued around noon on Friday that read, “Hurricane Hazel moved inland just east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, at 9:15 Eastern. Meanwhile, Hazel is still approaching the United States east coast. An explanation of extratropical transition is in order; it is the process by which tropical cyclones transform into extratropical cyclones. Hurricane Hazel was the deadliest and costliest hurricane of the 1954 Atlantic hurricane season. YAY! Before leaving the United States, Hazel claimed 95 American lives. Thanks for contributing to The Canadian Encyclopedia. (Betty Kennedy, Hurricane Hazel, 1979) The pause was not the anticipated "eye" of the hurricane; it was the pause before the deluge of rain inundated the city's rivers. The economy was affected by the flooding because people could not go to work and the repairs were not cheap. However, the dying process isn’t immediate and can take more than a day for a powerful hurricane like Hazel. Canada’s most memorable hurricane is Hurricane Hazel (1954). A forecast was issued at 9:30 a.m., calling for continuous rain throughout Friday and into the night, but Hazel was expected to lose strength as it crossed over the interior of the United States. These images are snapshots in time (11 p.m. EDT each day) at the 700-millibar pressure level (approximately 10,000 feet). (Mason, 1955). This is the first time his gripping story about Hurricane Hazel has been published. In all, Hurricane Hazel left 81 dead in Toronto, nearly 1900 families homeless and caused over $25 million in damages. Hurricane Hazel did not strike Ontario... another storm did! Their forecasts were quite accurate, yet, many people did not feel they were adequately warned of the risk posed by the rivers. October 10 - Hazel turns abruptly northward. The first indication that a tropical cyclone had formed came on October 5, 1954 about 50 miles east of the island of Grenada in the Windward Islands. (Mason, 1955), The highest reported 48-hour rainfall: 214 mm in Snelgrove. What happens when a tropical cyclone moves into the cooler and windier environment of the mid latitudes is a great forecast challenge and has been a focus of considerable scientific investigation since the mid 1990s. During the storm, winds reached 124 km/h and over 200 millimetres of rain fell in just 24 hours. Yet as Chief Meteorologist Fred Turnbull warned, "The worst is yet to come. Thousands of people had watched it come closer and closer, but no one ever imagined that its path of destruction would reach as far north as it did. In his 1955 paper in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Canadian Meteorological Service senior meteorologist, John Knox, described how the extratropical transition of Hazel resulted in southern Ontario being hit by a dangerous storm that was made more powerful by the hurricane... but it was a different storm. The following five figures show the evolution of the atmosphere over North America from October 12 to October 16, 1954. Drainage basins were saturated; therefore, when Hazel dropped the record amount of precipitation on the region, water ran off the surface directly into streams and rivers. Hazel turns more northward and accelerates, entering Pennsylvania in the early evening, dissipating rapidly. At 9:30 p.m. the final official forecast on the storm was issued by the weather office and read as follows: Hurricane Hazel, which moved in on the North Carolina coast Friday morning, continued to move northward and to accelerate during the day and by 9:00 p.m. it was centred between Buffalo and Rochester. Hazel, the deadliest and costliest storm of the 1954 Atlantic hurricane season, reached Toronto, Ontario by the evening of October 15, 1954. Hazel was a dramatic example of a powerful ET. Readers may remember that the building was known as St Matthias Anglican Church in 1954 and served as an operations centre during the rescue and relief efforts following the event. The photo at the beginning of the article appeared in the Toronto Star on October 16,1954, however Yorke didn’t see it until 2017. The reason for the severity of the Humber flood was explained by Robert Campbell in the Toronto Star on October 16, 1954. A hurricane is a tropical storm whose winds revolve around a center of low pressure. After Hazel, the provincial government amended the Conservation Authorities Act to allow conservation authorities to acquire and regulate vulnerable lands (including the former Raymore Drive) for recreation and conservation. Current hurricane conditions. The Toronto area had experienced above average rainfall that autumn, especially in the two weeks prior to Hazel’s arrival, saturating the ground and preventing the rainfall from infiltrating the soil. “A small, white frame church (provided) non-stop service of mercy … St. Matthias Anglican, … Knox pointed out that the structure and behaviour of the storm that hit Toronto was much different than the one that existed earlier that day. Hazel moves inland and begins dying, as all tropical cyclones do when they move over land and are cut-off from their oceanic energy source. It was Canada's worst hurricane and Toronto's worst natural disaster. Prepare for storms. Residents recalled that the two weeks leading up to Hazel were the wettest they could remember with more than a month and a half’s worth of rain in the 16 days before Hazel. Hurricane Hazel plowed into the U.S. mainland near Myrtle Beach, S.C. on October 15th and left a trail of damage on its way north towards heavily populated cities of the Eastern seaboard. At this point it already had winds of 160 km/h. Tropical cyclones, such as hurricanes, on the other hand, are warm air storms which draw their energy from the release of latent heat... the process when evaporated ocean water rises in the atmosphere as water vapour and subsequently condenses back into rain. The Humber River, Highland Creek, Don River, Etobicoke Creek, Credit River, and 16 Mile Creek all overflowed their banks. On October 12 and 13, Hazel is well-removed to the southeast while a strong stream of air flows across much of Canada and the northern United States. The water was so deep, up to our chins, and all the firemen were weighed down by clothing and boats and equipment." At 11:30 it was centred 48 kilometres [30 miles] west of Wilmington, North Carolina, and moving Northward with a speed of 48 kilometres per hour [30 miles per hour]. This weakened storm will continue northward, passing just east of Toronto before midnight. “The Humber River rises in the Peel Plains about 113 kilometres north of Lake Ontario. Hurricane Hazel . Off-duty policemen were contacted and ordered to report to their precincts. Between the evening before and the early morning hours of October 16, 81 people in southern Ontario died from the flooding rains. This horrific storm left 81 dead, nearly 1900 families homeless, and caused between $25 and $100 million in damages (modern-day cost has been estimated at over $1 billion). Malton airport, 107 mm in 12 hours, end 137 mm in the 24 hours up to midnight. The decaying remnants of Hazel move rapidly northward in the strengthening flow between the trough and ridge, arriving south of the Great Lakes about the same time that an extratropical cyclone was in the process of forming. Map (from Knox) shows a zoom into the area near the Great Lakes, from 6:30, Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry, Ministerial and Governor-in-Council appointments. Brampton received 210 mm in 48 hours, falling on land in the upper west end of the Humber watershed and the upper reaches of the river system itself, flowing 153 m down into the Humber River Valley. Weather warnings, hurricane tracking. With it came winds reaching 124 kilometres an hour and more than 200 millimetres … Five firefighters from the Kingsway-Lambton Fire Station were killed when they attempted to rescue people stranded in a car by flood waters from the Humber River. Tropical cyclones undergoing extratropical transition change structure, size, and intensity. The Humber River takes it all.” The Humber River watershed is approximately 777 kilometres squared in area and received 229 mm of rainfall. Toronto is dissected by rivers and streams and in 1954 many people lived on the city’s floodplains, placing them directly in the path of the Hazel flood. Rainfall track map of the Maritimes for Tropical Storm Harvey in 1999 Storm surge . The evolution of the atmosphere caused a rapid deceleration of the front such that by the time it reached Toronto it came to a complete standstill. An escarpment approximately the same elevation runs north from Brampton parallel to the Humber River and also received heavy rains, which were funnelled into the river. With winds as high as 140 miles an hour and a storm surge of up to 18 feet, Hazel changed the face of the coast — leveling dune fields and cutting inlets on barrier islands — as well as perceptions about hurricanes being purely coastal events. It peaked as a category 4 storm, but by the time it reached Canada, it was an extratropical category 1 storm after merging with an existing cold front south of Ontario. In Weston, off-duty police officer Jim Crawford and Herb Jones, a contractor, boarded a 25-horsepower boat and headed out into the river. Current hurricane conditions, storm maps, weather warnings, Canadian Hurricane Centre. facts about hurricane hazel. The following three weather maps show the rapidity with which Hazel reacted with the trough on October 15. Hurricane Hazel was the worst hurricane of the 1954 Atlantic hurricane season and one of the worst hurricanes of the 20th century.Hazel killed as many as 1,000 people in Haiti before striking the United States just south of Wilmington, North Carolina as a Category 4 hurricane. Meanwhile, the lower atmospheric rotation of Ivan drifted back southward, through Florida, into the Gulf of Mexico, where it regenerated back into Tropical Storm Ivan, creating dangerous conditions all over again along some United States Gulf coasts. Due to an area of high pressure to the north-east, Hazel stalled over Toronto and lost most o… Hurricane Hazel News Bulletin Cover Date / Period 1954 Place Ottawa Object Type Books, Guides and Manuals Credit Canadian Red Cross Topics Disaster Management. Rainfall over Southern Ontario associated with Hurricane Hazel was very intense, yet the cause of the severe flood was not solely Hazel. By 14 October, Hazel was battering the Carolina coast, with estimated wind speeds of 240 km/h, and a tidal surge of 4 metres. Conservation authorities, local municipalities, and the province together developed a comprehensive plan for flood control and water conservation to significantly reduce the risk to life and property posed by extreme weather events. Hurricane Hazel was the deadliest and costliest hurricane of the 1954 hurricane season (Figure 1) and is the strongest and only Category 4 hurricane to ever hit the North Carolina coast. The hurricane officials named Hazel came to life on Oct. 4, 1954 near the island of Grenada in the Caribbean Sea. More than 80 people were killed when hurricane Hazel hit the area, many of whom were living near the banks of the Humber River when flood water swept away their homes. This trough migrates eastward and becomes more pronounced over the next couple of days (October 14 and 15), eventually extending from the Great Lakes to Texas. September 20, 2020 September 20, 2020 Uncategorized. Hurricane hunters first identified Hazel on the afternoon of 5 October 1954, about 75 kilometres east of the island of Grenada in the West Indies. Ontario's Hurricane Hazel THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME!!! Similarly at midnight, while Malton was reporting 8°C the Bloor Street weather office was reporting 16°C. However, many of the city’s residents did not take protective measures as is evidenced by the loss of life and widespread damage. As the flooding escalated, 40 highways and main roads were submerged. The flood plains, already saturated by days of rain, simply could not contain the downpour. Natural disasters, emergency … 66 years ago; Archives; 14:26; An American report reveals the major destruction Hurricane Hazel wreaked across the United States before hitting Canada. Forecasts and products. Forty bridges were destroyed or structurally damaged and ten were out of commission because of damage to the approaches. October 6-9 - Hazel moves slowly westward in the Caribbean ocean: no land areas affected. This weakening storm will continue northward, passing east of Toronto before midnight. Jim Gifford, Hurricane Hazel: Canada's Storm of the Century (2004); Betty Kennedy, Hurricane Hazel (1979); Steve Pitt, Rain Tonight: A Story of Hurricane Hazel (2010) Children's literature. It tore through the western suburbs of Washington, DC, and across Pennsylvania and New York, causing $1.5 billion in damages and killing 100 people in the United States. Of the final total of 81 dead, more than 30 were killed on a single street, Raymore Drive, when the cascading Humber River ripped entire homes from their foundations, sweeping them downstream. The white line shows Hurricane Hazel’s path. This is Hazel II. The effects of Hurricane Hazel in Canada included 81 deaths and C$137,552,400 ($1,299,967,047 in 2018) in damages. On October 16, 1954, Hurricane Hazel flooded Toronto. Extratropical cyclones are the common low pressure centres which form along fronts in mid latitudes. Hazel, the deadliest and costliest storm of the 1954 Atlantic hurricane season, reached Toronto, Ontarioby the evening of October 15, 1954. Hurricane Hazel struck the Toronto area on 15-16 October 1954, with devastating results. With Hazel approaching the US coast between the trough and the ridge, the storm is forced to accelerate northward. Regulations enacted since Hurricane Hazel restrict new development in flood plains, allowing rivers to flow naturally and reducing the risk to people and their property during flooding. Between October 14 and October 15, a pronounced ridge develops over Atlantic Canada (blue dashed line). By 4:30 P.M. on 15 October, rain began to fall heavily on Toronto. Hurricane forecasts and facts. Hurricane Hazel struck the Toronto area on 15-16 October 1954, with devastating results. O n October 15, 1954, the most famous hurricane in Canadian history struck Southern Ontario. Underpasses began to collect water, but by 7:00 P.M. the traffic had mostly cleared. They draw their energy from the imbalance that takes place when cold and warm air move into close proximity: greater temperature differences over shorter distances result in more intense frontal storms, or extratropical cyclones. History, politics, arts, science & more: the Canadian Encyclopedia is your reference on Canada. Consequently, they may have held back a negligible amount of water but failed to have much effect. Oct 19, 2012 - In October of 1954, Hurricane Hazel roared through Toronto, leaving mangled homes and businesses in its wake. (October 15, 1954), Map from 10:30 p.m. EDT shows a more consolidated storm centre in the pressure pattern over the western end of Lake Ontario. On Oct. 15, 1954, Hazel made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane near Calabash. ~ Hurricane On the other hand, the storm’s warm sector moved over the city with the wind veering from north through east while the temperature climbed to 17°C. Major tropical storms do not usually travel through Ontario, but on October 15, 1954, Hurricane Hazel crossed Lake Ontario and battered areas north and west of Toronto. Instead, the water ran off the surface into local rivers, which rose very rapidly, wiping out communities built within their floodplains. However, few people had experience with hurricanes and were unaware of how to prepare, leaving them vulnerable to the storm's power. Hazel II passed directly over Toronto near midnight, October 15 and 16, as evidenced by the contrasting weather between Malton Airport (now, Pearson International Airport) and Toronto City Centre. Hazel is about to land in the Carolinas while a cold front extends from Ontario (just east of Toronto) down to the Gulf of Mexico. October 5 - A tropical disturbance near Grenada, at the southern end of the chain of islands in the Caribbean, was classified as a hurricane: “Hazel”. Though the initial forecast for that Oct. 15 in 1954 said the storm would dissipate, its power intensified rapidly, hitting Toronto with 285 millimetres of rain in 48 hours and winds gusting to 110 kilometres per hour. Winds north 40 to 50 miles per hour [64 – 80 km/h] this evening decreasing overnight to northwest 30 Saturday. Between October 5 and October 16, 1954, Hurricane Hazel formed in the tropics, tracked through the interior of the United States and across the Great Lakes where it merged with a cold front and dropped record rainfall amounts in the Greater Toronto Area. This is the pause that always comes during a hurricane." 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