Hurricane Season Comes to the Carolinas

Less than a week after Hurricane Gustav kept many of us watching The Weather Channel, hoping New Orleans would be spared a repeat of the flooding damage brought by Hurricane Katrina, those of us in North Carolina are now watching as Tropical Storm Hanna is taking aim at the Carolina coastline.

Many of us here at the UNC Press have either friends or family who live along the North Carolina coastline. As such, this time of the year makes most of us a bit uneasy as we go about our days, hoping for the best. When a storm system like Hanna starts to form, we start paying attention to it early on. We’re all hoping that the storm will stay safely well out at sea.

In 1995 the UNC Press published the first edition of Jay Barnes’ “North Carolina’s Hurricane History.” Barnes’s book is now in it’s third edition, having been updated twice to include more recent hurricanes that have reached the Carolina coastline.

The book’s popularity, I think, is an indication of the importance of the shared hurricane experiences that North Carolinians have lived through for decades. As someone who lived in the Raleigh area during 1996’s Hurricane Fran, I understand the bonds that such a natural disaster forges. I still clearly remember the night the strong winds and heavy rains came at our small farmhouse, tearing off part of our tin roof and knocking over 100-year-old pecan trees all over our front and side yard. I also remember the help our neighbors offered, both that night and in the following days, as we all had to clean up, do essential repair work and learn to survive without electricity or running water.

With that in mind, I hope all of you along the North Carolina coastline stay safe as the next entry to Barnes’s book continues heading our way.

— Tom