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Tracking the Tropics Week 5: June storms, Hurricane Hazel & the nickname ‘Hurricane Alley’


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — In Week five of Tracking the Tropics, we head out to Houston to discuss June storms and take a look back at the devastation of Hurricane Hazel which birthed the nickname “Hurricane Alley” for the North Carolina coast.

Although June is the first official month of the Atlantic hurricane season, it is historically not an active month for hurricanes or tropical storms. Despite that history, we have seen four named storms in the month of June for 2020.

KIAH Meteorologist Maria Sotolongo in Houston takes you back to a notorious June storm: Tropical Storm Allison, which ravaged southeast Texas in June 2001.

Allison dropped heavy rainfall, peaking at over 40 inches in some parts of Texas.

The worst of the storm hit down in Houston. In the storm’s aftermath, more than 30,000 in the city became homeless. Allison flooded over 70,000 homes and destroyed nearly 3,000 homes. Twenty-three people died in Texas as a result.

Fourty-seven years earlier in 1954, Hurricane Hazel was the strongest and only Category 4 hurricane to hit the North Carolina coast. Hazel was also the costliest and deadliest, causing at least 469 deaths in Haiti, 95 in the United States and 81 in Canada. For its devastation, the name “Hazel” was retired from Atlantic hurricane names.

Hazel was one of three major hurricanes during the 1954 Atlantic hurricane season and for that, North Carolina’s coast earned the nickname “Hurricane Alley” for the decade.

FOX8 WGHP Chief Meteorologist Van Denton dives deeper into the history of Hurricane Hazel and the catchy nickname Hurricane Alley.

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