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Episode 518

Hurricane Hazel
Fri, 2018-Oct-05 00:12 UTC
Length - 3:45

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Friday, 5 October 2018 is Hurricane Hazel.

Hurricane Hazel was the deadliest and costliest hurricane of the 1954 Atlantic hurricane season. The storm killed at least 400 people in Haiti before striking the United States near the border between North and South Carolina, as a Category 4 hurricane. After causing 95 fatalities in the US, Hazel struck Canada as an extratropical storm, raising the death toll by 81 people, mostly in Toronto. As a result of the high death toll and the damage caused by Hazel, its name was retired from use for North Atlantic hurricanes.

In Haiti, Hazel destroyed 40% of the coffee trees and 50% of the cacao crop, affecting the economy for several years to come. The hurricane made landfall near Calabash, North Carolina, and destroyed most waterfront dwellings near its point of impact. From North Carolina, it traveled north along the Atlantic coast. Hazel affected Virginia, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York; it brought gusts near 160 km/h (100 mph) and caused $281 million (1954 USD) in damage. When it was over Pennsylvania, Hazel consolidated with a cold front, and turned northwest towards Canada. When it hit Ontario as an extratropical storm, rivers and streams in and around Toronto overflowed their banks, which caused severe flooding. As a result, many residential areas located in the local floodplains, such as the Raymore Drive area, were subsequently converted to parkland. In Canada alone, over C$135 million (2016: C$1.2 billion) of damage was incurred.

The effects of Hazel were particularly unprecedented in Toronto, due to a combination of heavy rainfall during the preceding weeks, a lack of experience in dealing with tropical storms and the storm's unexpected retention of power. Hazel had traveled 1,100 km (680 mi) over land, but while approaching Canada, it had merged with an existing powerful cold front. The storm stalled over the Greater Toronto Area, and although it was now extratropical, it remained as powerful as a category 1 hurricane. To help with the cleanup, 800 members of the military were summoned, and a Hurricane Relief Fund was established that distributed $5.1 million (2017: $46.5 million) in aid.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 00:12 UTC on Friday, 5 October 2018.

For the full current version of the article, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Hazel.

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