On This Day: Hurricane Hazel (October 1954)
Hurricane Hazel: The circumstances that surrounded the appearance of Hurricane Hazel in October 1954 were totally unexpected. Having laid a path of destruction through the Caribbean and Carolinas, Hazel settled inland over the Alleghenies and was expected to die a natural death. Here, however, she re-fueled with the help of a low-pressure system and rushed towards Lake Ontario in Canada.
While the hurricane struck Toronto with forceful winds and rain, the destruction was due more to the inadequately prepared flood plains. Whole streets disappeared near the banks of Toronto's rivers, taking with them over 80 victims. One survivor was a newborn child, plucked from her father's arms moments before her family was washed down the river with their home. Many of Toronto's beautiful riverside parks are a result of the city's desire to never again put her citizens in the path of this type of disaster.