Click here to go to our home page!
 70s
 80s
 90s
BC 
Google
WWW  Super70s Awesome80s
FORUMS | Culture | Movies | Music | News | Sports | Sci/Tech | Timeline | TV


 

Hurricane Eloise

By David Carragan

Hurricane Eloise caused over $200M in damage and left 76 dead in the U.S. and the Caribbean between September 17 and 27, 1975. It remains one of the deadliest Category 3 hurricanes on record.

President Ford, who was experiencing eight inches of rain from the storm in Washington D.C., declared Florida a "major disaster area" on September 26, clearing the way for federal emergency relief.

Background

The first signs that a weak depression had formed came early on September 13th from ship reports and aircraft reconnaissance data. The recon data located the center of circulation about 500 miles east of the Virgin Islands. Slow intensification occurred over the next 48 hours and reconnaissance aircraft indicated the winds had reached tropical storm strength by the early morning hours on September 16th.

Eloise continued to strengthen and reached minimal hurricane force before making landfall over the northeast coast of the Dominican Republic late on the 16th. Eloise then tracked over Hispaniola and southeast Cuba before reemerging over water north of Jamaica on the 19th.

The mountainous terrain of Hispaniola and Cuba disrupted the low level circulation and Eloise weakened to a minimal tropical storm. As Eloise approached the Yucatan Peninsula, it intensified and then turned to the north on the 21st after crossing the Yucatan Peninsula just north of Cozumel, Mexico.

Eloise continued strengthening north of the Yucatan regaining hurricane force on the morning of the 22nd in the central Gulf of Mexico about 300 miles south of New Orleans. Eloise continued strengthening until landfall about midway between Fort Walton Beach and Panama City, Florida shortly after 8AM on the 23rd.

   
 

A member of the 823rd Civil Engineering Squadron (CES) assigned to Tactical Air Command (TAC) 9th Air Force, drives a piece of heavy equipment to clear fallen trees and debris near a small building during post-Hurricane Elloise cleanup operations. The 823rd CES is a Rapid Engineering Deployable Heavy Operations Squadron, Engineer (Red Horse)..

 
   

DoD photo

   
 

The hurricane weakened rapidly after landfall was was downgraded to a tropical storm while over east central Alabama and a depression by early evening while over eastern Tennessee. As the remains of Eloise move into Tennessee, it was responsible for spawning some tornadoes over western North Carolina. Rainfall amounts ranged from four to eight inches across the western Carolinas.

Sources: NOAA.

 

Share Your Memories!

What do you remember about Hurricane Eloise? Have you any compelling stories to share? Share your stories with the world! (We print the best stories right here!)

Your Memories Shared!

"I remember Eloise very well. It hit 30 days to the day that my husband was getting out of the Air Force. We lived in a condo in Deston (of course you have to remember at that time, there wasn't much in Deston on Highway 98). I was a civilian employee on Eglin AFB, where my husband was stationed. I didn't get nervous until they started moving all the major equipment (copies, etc.) into the middle of the offices and then told everyone to go home. Fortunately, we had friends who had a home in Ft. Walton, and we stayed with them. The morning after the hurricane, we decided to go to our condo to see what, if any damage, it had sustained. We drove through about a foot of water, apparently where the Bay and Gulf met across Highway 98. When we pulled into entrance to our condo, you could see roofing material, etc. all over the ground. Thank goodness, we were fortunate in that our condo sustained minor roof damage. The building next to us was completely gutted, with just the outside walls standing. We drove around the rest of the condo complex to see what else was damaged. It was at this time that we came across a couple trying to remove furniture, etc. out of their condo. Apparently, they had not evacuated the area, which the Civil Defense requested we do, and were laying in bed watching TV when the roof blew off. We helped them gather whatever belongings were not destroyed and then proceeded to see if anyone else had gotten caught in it.

I had relatives living in Montgomery, Alabama who had been trying to get in touch with us to get us to come up there. As it turned out, its a good thing we didn't go because we would have traveled the path that Eloise took.

We had no water or electricity for 3-4 days. The National Guard sent personnel to patrol the area. I grew up in the Middle Eastern states, 2 hours from the beach. This was my first experience with a hurricane and one which I will never forget."

--Anonymous

"I was 9 years old and lived in Ozark, Alabama at the time-about 1 1/2 hours north of Panama City FL. I remember we had an evergreen tree on our front lawn that was about 23 feet tall and even that far inland, the wind managed to bend that tree over from the middle! My sister lived in a town nearby and was trying to get to our house in a VW bug. She had to pull off the road due to high winds, and as it turned out, she was right in the middle of a tornado spawned from the hurricane! There was tremendous damage to our town and the surrounding area. It is the first memory I have of realizing how powerful Mother Nature is."

--Anonymous

"was the better part of valor and departed the base in two vehicles. We headed west with the intention of turning north on Hwy. 331, going to the home of one of my cohort's parents in the town of Florala on the FL/AL border, about 60 miles inland. Unknown to us, Eloise had the same travel plans. The rain had already produced zero visibility and the fastest we could safely drive was about 20 mph. After about an hour on the road, we decided to stop at a diner and eat breakfast. After we had ordered, before our food came, Eloise hit like a bomb. The front windows blew in and the electricity went out. I looked out into the parking lot just in time to see the entire roof over the gas pumps tear from it's foundations and disappear into the rain. It probably would have been better to wait it out where we were, but we were still hungry and decided to press forward. It took us another 2 hours to reach my buddy's house and it was a trip I'll never forget. The rain was so intense (it rained a total of 23 inches before it was over) that the only way to drive was by instinct. It was raining perpindicular to the ground, east to west and it looked as if we were driving inside a white water river. As we got further from the coast, the rain slackened off for a few minutes enabling us to see 4 tornados touching down a couple of miles away, on the north shore of what I believe is called West Bay. It was a surreal sight. A little later we were shocked to see an entire metal barn roll across the road ahead of us, heading west. A few minutes after that we were following a semi when the 40 foot trailer suddenly lifted off the ground, disconnected from the truck and disappeared into the distance. The driver was cool, he never even put his brakes on, he just kept on truckin' and we stayed close behind. When we arrived at my buddy's house in Florala, we found no one home. His family had been evacuated to the local National Guard armory. After about an hour, the winds died down and the rain stopped. We went outside to find blue sky, no wind, and bright sunshine. It took us a couple of minutes to figure out that we were dead center in the eye of the hurricane. It is probably the most awesome thing I have ever seen, watching the south wall of the storm approach us. It had to be all of 30 to 40 thousand ft. high and you could actually see the counter-clockwise rotation. Those storm shows on Discovery channel just don't do justice. After about 30 minutes, the eye wall reached us and all hell broke loose and we took shelter again. If anything, the winds were stronger, blowing in the opposite direction, and the rain more intense. After a few minutes we heard a sound like a bomb exploding and the whole house (a 3 story Victorian) shook. The winds had toppled a 150 year old, 80 ft. live oak into the house and wiped out the entire top floor.

Since the electricity was out, no gas pumps were operating and we ended up staying in Florala for three days before we could return to base. We spent time helping my buddy's family clean up and helping the local authorities in their recovery efforts. Florala was devastated. I don't think there was a single structure in town that didn't sustain serious damage. Some homes and business were completely destroyed. It took them 10 years to completely recover. Ironically, when we got back to base, it was completely untouched outside of a few trees down.

For two weeks afterwards, I worked as a volunteer, along with hundreds of other Air Force personnel, with civilian emergency services helping the local folks clean up and salvaging what we could. My particular task was to haul furniture and equipment out of a beachfront Holiday Inn that had been severely damaged. For this, I received an Air Force Humantarian Service Medal. For rescuing furniture. Sheesh!

About a week after finishing that job and returning to life as an Air Force nuclear weapons technician, I was shocked to hear on the news that the Holiday Inn had collapsed due to the damage to the hotel's foundation caused by the tidal surge. If I had suspected that, I think I would have left the furniture where it was."

--Nuke44

"I remember this storm. I was about 9 yrs. old. My family and I lived in Florala, AL. I remember the wind blowing as hard as i had ever seen. Trees were blown down all over town. we were out of power for several days."

--jd450c

"In 1975, I was a sixth grader in Vernon, FL, 35 miles north of Panama City Beach. When the storm was inbound, my parents scoffed at my efforts to tie down bicycles, the lawn mower, and lawn chairs. They figured it would turn and go elsewhere. I saved drinking water in pitchers, and filled the bathtub with water for flushing.

The morning the storm hit, I awoke to howling wind, and occasional thumps on the side of the house from pine cones thrown from trees by the wind. We drove across town (1 mile) to the elementary school, which my dad (the principal) opened to provide shelter to people living in trailers. My sister and I went outside several times during the morning to watch tornados spawned by the hurricane snapping tall pine trees off.

The following week, we used all the flushing water. I made a point of filling my canteen and drinking exclusively from local springs. The National Guard was out in force, guarding each business to prevent looting and cutting down trees in advance of Gulf Power's linesmen who worked to get the electricity back on. They also provided drinking water from the back of a water tanker truck parked in front of Brock's Service Station.

I went to Panama City Beach with my brother-in-law to call on some of his pool cleaning service customers. Most hotels survived the storm, but the bottom two floors were a complete loss. While we were there, we saw one of the hotel maintenance workers come down the stairs with a huge sea turtle that had been marooned on the 2nd floor. The pool was full of sand, all the way to the top."

--Anonymous

"I was a senior in high school when Hurricane Eloise came through our town. I live in Enterprise, Alabama and I remember hearing on the radio that school had been cancelled for the day and shortly after that (alittle after 8:00 a.m.), Eloise blew through Enterprise. It seems like it lasted a very long time because me and my Mom were the only ones home at the time and we were very scared. My Dad had already left for work at Ft. Rucker and he was stranded there until it was over. We had no power for about 4-5 days and we had alot of cleaning up to do. Hurricane Opal also came through Enterprise on October 4, 1995 but she blew through that night. It was pretty bad but not quite as bad at Hurricane Eloise."

--Karen Hudson Miller

"I vividly remember Hurricane Eloise. I was a student at The University of Alabama. The day that Eloise passed through Alabama, the weather in Tuscaloosa was one of those stunningly beautiful, perfect fall days. A hundred or more miles to the east, Eloise was doing major havoc in Auburn, the home of my school's greatest rival. It was very satisfying, in the college rivalry sense."

--ratcheer

"I was working at the then #1 radio station in Panama City, WDLP 590 AM ... yeah just before FM wiped AM out. Worked through the storm, and got hooked on severe weather as an after effect. I was on "the board" when EBS was activated, the only time in a career that lasted 17 years when I got to say words to the effect, "this is NOT a test, stand by for important information" .. and hit the tones. I was not alone in the station by any means. Employees were invited to bring their loved ones to the sturdy building, and some even brought pets. The station was equiped with a generator, which was tested and put into service. At one point during the storm I was assigned to monitor a scanner for tips (I hated that because I was kept from experiencing the storm first-hand). Gladly, they set me free from that responsibility after a short while.

Around dawn, as the storm was raging, me and several others ventured outside on the sheltered north side of the building. One of the guys decided to walk beyond the edge of the building to experience the full force of wind, he was promptly knocked off his feet and crawled back to the wind block (very turbulent even there). I knew I didn't want to take that walk.

As soon as it was relatively safe to drive, along with a couple other employees, headed out to Panama City Beach in the station van. At the foot of the bridge, National Guard was controlling access to the beach, but allowed us as PRESS. The wind was still high and the thin roof of the van was actually flexing as we crossed the bridge, making popping sounds.

On the beach, National Guard was very visible. And destruction was awesome. I wish I didn't have to subsidize the insurance of property owners on the shore, but everybody in Florida helps rich folks pay their premiums, that's a fact. Build in a river's flood plain, expect to get flooded ... build on the coast, expect a hurricane."

--Victor

"I lived in Eufaula, Alabama during the time hurricane eloise hit. I was in 6th grade. My home-town had winds sustained at 60 m.p.h. and power was lost for most of the day. it was exciting for me, a young boy, to watch pine trees sway and snap from the winds. a great time to be off from school!"

--Anonymous

"WOW! What a mememory! My first hurricane ever! Tornadoes chasing us in our family vehicle all the way up the Panama City evacuation route. Then coming back home to the most beutiful beaches I'd ever seen in my entire life, but not the way I remembered. Horrifying sights of mangled and misplaced beach homes. Tornado paths gutting right down the center of what was once prime location hotel properties, Personal items dislodged miles away from there homes. This is something that will live in my mind forever. I am now 39 years old. And have lived in many locations on and off over the years,yet always returning to the one place that experienced a kind of power unlike any other in the world. The Gulf Coast. For some strange reason ,this lodged memory is what keeps me an avid hurricane chaser and enthusiest to this day."

--Kat

"We were stationed at Eglin AFB and lived in Valparaiso, Florida which is just outside of Ft. Walton Beach. My daughter was just a month old at the time and my son was 5. My husband was with his unit helping to secure the base the day before the hurricane was to hit land. All day we watched the news updates and thought landfall would be in Mississippi. It was about 10:00pm when they announced that landfall was expected to occur between Ft. Walton and Panama City. I had spent the day washing clothes and filling bottles, jars, and glasses with water. It was early when the storm hit. The force of the winds was causing water to pour in around our back door. We were using everything we could find to soak up the water. There was a very large tree in our back yard that kept bending and swaying. We placed our children in a front room in case the tree came down on the back portion of the house. As the eye of the storm passed over us, everything was very quiet and calm. After a couple of minutes, the storm stared up again. Later in the day, we found out that a tornado had it the laundromat that was only 3 blocks from our house. The only thing left of the laundromat was the concrete foundation. They never found any of the washers or dryers and suspected they were carried into the Gulf or the bay. We were without electricity for about 3 days. Our area had a lot of trees uprooted and downed power lines. Ft. Walton did not get the full force of the hurricane but it was more than enough for me. When my husband's tour of duty was over, we moved back to Tennessee."

--Beadweaver

"I lived in Ft. Walton Beach in 1975. We had moved there in 1974. I was 14 when the hurricane hit. I was born and raised in Missouri and had been through alot of tornadoes, but this was something else. We spent the night before it hit in the local high school and when the hurricane hit we moved downstairs to the library and hid under tables until it was over. The sound was unlike anything I had ever heard before. The roof was torn off the school. We were lucky in that our house was spared, but I could not believe my eyes when we emerged from the high school to survey the damage. After that, every gray sky made me nervous."

--LivesInAZNow

"I was a young boy when Eloise hit the Panhandle. I was living in Choctaw Beach right on the Choctawhatche Bay. I remember before we evacuated to highschool in Niceville around 5:00AM, the storm surge drove the bay water over our only escape route, (Hwy20) and My father (who later recalls it was a very bad idea) forced the old Chevy wagon through the three foot deep water hole to get us out of there. We also witnessed a waterspout moving across the bay paralel to us going toward Ft. Walton Beach. It seemed that the force of the winds actualy pushed us through the water hole when we should have stalled out. We returned to the house later the next day to find a very large tree blocking our driveway, and laying accross the top of the house. The fall impact damaged the roof, and crack a bearing wall in my bedroom, but the house, for the most part, remained unscathed. The portion of land we owned accross the road, (Hwy 20) went from 180 x 150 (feet) was turned into 180 x 58 with a new shear cliff. Lends new meaning to the song we got over the radio during our escape, "Oh What a Night"!"

--Marcel Neau

"I road out Hurricane Eloise in a beach house right on the coast near where Seaside Florida is today - about 8 miles from where the eye crossed the coast.

The highest bluffs on the Gulf Coast are supposedly in this area, and that is why the house is still there.

Tornadoes hit all around and waves were blown over the roof, but the bluff forced the wind straight up for a few feet and we lost the windows in front but not the roof. Fish were swimming in the front porch and the rain and sea water were blowing in horizontally to the ground at over 140 MPH.

When it was over, the sand dunes and the steps leading down the bluff face were gone - everyone's steps had disappeared up and down the beach. The bluff had become a vertical cliff about 30 feet high.

When it was over and the roads had been cleared we went by the Roundtowner Motel (not sure of the name) nearby. It was a concrete two or three story structure - all of which was on the ground. It looked like it had been hit by artillery.

Next time a storm came - I ran!"

--Anonymous

"I was 9 years old and living in Montgomery, AL when Eloise roared through the city bringing down trees and powerlines. Oddly, school was not cancelled. By midmorning the winds gusted bending trees like matchsticks and ripping the gutters from the school building. I remember spending 4 hours in the hallway hunched in the typical tornado crouch and hearing the howling winds shatter windows in the classrooms. Students screamed and cried from the horrifying sounds. At one point the doble doors at the end of the hallway blew open bring in sheets of windblown rain.

After school let out, a student was killed walking home after he stepped over a fallen tree and came in contact with a live powerline. I always wondered why we went to school that day.

Our family had a summer home in destin. I drove down with my grandfather the following day to see if our beachside cabin was still standing. The destruction in Alabama and the Florida panhandle was incredible. Amazingly, our sturdy cabin was only slightly damaged. Many adjacent buildings and homes were swept away and white sandy dunes were flattened. "

--Anonymous

"I was 14 and living at Panama City Beach when Eloise blew through. My father was fire chief of Panama City Beach at the time and had to go on duty. That left me and my mom alone. We lived in a mobile home, so we went to a motel in Panama City. The motel lost part of its roof. Several of my friends' families were staying in the same motel and I remember us all venturing out into the parking lot when the eye was going over. It was so eerie.

The howling wind just abruptly stopped and you could actually see clear sky and stars. But it wasn't long before the wind began to gradually start again and we knew it was time to head back inside. After it was over, we went back home and our trailer was totally intact! Not even a broken window! I had turned my cat loose in the woods around our home because we couldn't take him with us. He came strolling out of the woods shortly after we got home and was perfectly safe and sound as well. It was a miracle.

My dad came and got us later and took us for a ride around the beach. I'll never forget those images! I remember seeing things like chairs up in trees. There had been a picnic area across from the pier on front beach road - these were those concrete picnic tables with the concrete roofs over them - and they were all completely gone. I remember 2-3 story hotels being gone - washed out into the ocean. I was horrified, but at the same time completely fascinated. And I never want to go through anything like that again."

--Valerie

"I was in the 4th grade in Opelika, AL. I remember after days of nothing but grey keying in to the fact that there was a hurricane somewhere. When I asked my mom what a hurricane was, I was given the usual, "Look it up. " I grabbed the appropriate encyclopedia, as we were on our way out. As I sat in the backseat, encyclopedia in hand, I asked if the hurricane would come to Opelika and was told no.

Two days later, after being pulled from school and driven home as Eloise began her onslaught, I can still remember periodically looking up at my mom with accusatory You-said-it-wouldn't eyes of a child. Nothing like the smell of five wet dogs, two cats, and two young children under the blanket in the hall.

The week out of school was even better. All the blown over trees were GREAT for playing Robin Hood and his Merry Men on!"

--Anonymous

"I was 12 at the time and we had a mobile home in Panama City Beach at Phillip's Inlet. After the hurricane left my dad and some friends went down there to view the damage and to see about our stuff. The trailer was knocked of the blocks. It was full of water. Our T. V. was floating around.

My dad had to get the trailer put back on blocks abd drill holes in the floor to let all the water out. The floor was covered in black silt and seaweed. I was nasty. It took alot of cleaning and repair but we managed to salvage it. Just one-hald mile down the road the Roundtowner Motel was completely gutted and furniture was strown all across the road. It was a total loss. I had to be torn down. It was one of the finer motels in P. C. at that time. Something I want ever forget."

--Tammy Gunter Timms

"I was four years old and lived in Ozark, AL at the time. This is the first storm that I can remember, and what a storm it was. I remember wondering at the trees that seemed to bend over and touch the ground, and the haunting whistling sound of the wind as it whipped around the side of our house. I remember driving around town the next day and seeing the damage. "

--david tilly

"I was living in Enterprise, Alabama when the storm hit. I was six years old. I remember matresses stacked against the sliding glass door of the house for protection. We had a tall TV antenae tower in our backyard that was laid completely over. I remember looking out the door into the garage to see our aluminum carport flapping in the wind as it was being ripped from the side of the house.

Fortunately the middle support poles were anchored in concrete and the aluminum carport ended up being crushed into a teepee over the two cars that lied beneath, protecting them from other debris flying through the air. I remember seeing large chunks of metal flying through the air. We cautiously looked out of the front door, wondering if we were in the Eye of the storm or if everything was over. Power was out in our town for several days. One of the windows in our station wagon was shattered by debris.

To my recollection one of the only restaurants in town that was able to open for business was a Pasquale's Pizza that used gas ovens. I've been in several storms since, including ridding out Hurricane Opal in a trailer while in college at Auburn."

--Anonymous

"I lived in a mobile home in Level Plains, Alabama. It was my sisters 10th bday. I was 11. We were excited about no school but the excitement turned to terror soon thereafter. As we peeped out windows and saw other mobile homes completely flipped onto their roofs we were concerned for our lives.

Eventually the winds reached over 105 mph (Ft Rucker stats learned later) and our MH lifted into the air then landed with a crash. Everyone of my 5 family members were OK but our home was internally shattered. We thought we had felt the worst. Then came a gust. The last thing we all remember was rolling. All of a sudden we were all laying on top of each other, under furniture, and among broken glass and twisted metal, in the back yard.

We ran to our car and waited for a local church to rescue us. Everyone was OK, even our small dog. We later found the complete floor of our MH completed twisted at the frame and folded in two about half a mile away. I later found out that the eye of the storm came directly over my little town."

--Lamar Jackson

"Hurricane Eloise was my first hurricane. I celebrated my 8th birthday in the dark after Eloise came through and shut down our city. I will never forget it! My family had just moved to Auburn, Alabama. I had just begun 3rd grade in a new school, about 2 miles from our new house in a heavily wooded area (lots of very tall pine trees!). Now that I am older I am very surprised that, knowing how serious this storm was, school was not cancelled. My classroom had one wall of just windows.

We were all watching the wind and rain, all of us feeling scared. One by one parents would show up to pick up their children. Finally my friend's dad, our neighbor, came to get us. He drove an orange VW Bug, and I vividly remember that my friend and I had to ride all the way home crouching on the floorboard of the car because trees were snapping left and right all around us.

I spent the rest of the day in my neighbor's basement. We continued to hear the wind howling and trees snapping, and occasionally, when we were brave enough, we would climb up and peek out the little windows to see the damage.

They had several trees fall onto their house, yet our house only had trees down in the yard. If I remember correctly we were without power for three days at least. During that time I turned 8 years old. It was a birthday I will never forget! To this day, the smell of wet pine and the sound of a chain saw remind me of Hurricane Eloise."

--Amy

"As I watch the coverage of Hurricane Frances on the Weather Channel (wish we had had that available in 1975), I was reflecting on one of the worst days of my life. The day Hurricane Eloise came ashore on the beautiful Gulf Coast. I lived in a trailer in Enterprise, Alabama at the time with my mother and my baby sister. I was 12 years old. Enterprise was, of course, on the eastern side of the eye of the hurricane so we saw some pretty intense weather that morning.

We were unable to get out of our trailer and move to a safer place, so we had to ride out the storm inside. We certainly weren't prepared for what awaited us once the tornado had passed and we could walk out of that trailer door. Every every trailer in a two block radius was upside down and shattered. Ours was the only one left standing and undamaged.

It was as if the hand of GOD had scooped us up and held us in his grasp. I saw death and massive destruction that day and was forever touched by that. Not to mention the fact that I am terrified of bad weather to this day!"

--w.s.s.

"As a college student at Troy State in Troy, AL. , I had no idea there was even a hurricane out there, let alone one coming our way. I lived in a small house with 2 roommates. They had gotten up to go to classes and I was begging them not to leave the house. The pine trees in the back yard were bent all the way over to the ground and we turned the t. v. on to learn that Hurricane Eloise had just wiped out all the electricity in Enterprise, Al. , right below us.

One of my roommates said she couldn't miss her class because she had an exam! To make a long story short, our boyfriends had to go rescue her. Her car had stalled and power lines were down everywhere and huge old pecan and oak trees were completely uprooted. Trees had fallen on cars on campus. I am writing this the day after Hurricane Frances has just ripped through Florida and I am keeping my eye on Ivan.

We learned from Eloise that living inland is no guarantee that you will be sheltered from the devastation of a hurricane."

--Lena

"I remember Hurrican Eloise very well. I was 10 years old at the time living about 8 miles west of Dothan Alabama in the Green Acres Subdivision. I can remember Bob Howell, a news anchor for WTVY of channel 4 saying, "Eloise now has the strength of 3 regular hurricans. " Eloise roared into Alabama with vengence. We had several large Water Oaks in our yard and Eloise blew them around till I thought they would snap. Rain fell in buckets as our power went out. I remember my brother and I being scared to death and being glued to our mother as Eloise pounded South Alabama.

I remember mother buring candles and us listening to a battery powered radio. A very large pine tree on the border of our property was threatening to fall on a neighbor house due to the high wind. My father and the neighbor were out attempting to fell the tree before it came crashing down on their house! I remember being so scared and crying at the thought of the tree falling and destroying our neighbors house or worse yet killing someone, thank goodness they were successful at felling the tree.

Another large pine fell and took out Mothers clothes line and our basketball goal and came very close to hittng out car. We were without power for several days and the damage was extensive. I will never forget hurrican Eloise. She left a vivid memory that will last the rest of my life."

--Scooter

"i lived in freeport florida where elosie eye crossed. I was 14 and I remember the shutters on our house being pulled out of the brick - what a errie sound it made one I will never forget. . There was a trailer across the bayou and it fell like a cardboard box. I remember not having electric for 8 days and the night they came to reconnect us it was WONDERFUL. . . we were lucky we had a artisiun water well( the spelling sorry). This was the first hurricane I have ever experiance however I have been in a couple since."

--Anonymous

"my family and I gathered at my parents house in Ozark Al. We sat in the hallway praying for our lives and safety. We could hear the trees snapping and uprooting, the roof of the house was as if it had a life of its own, it was moving up and down as if it was breathing. At one point I remember following my daddy to the bathroom and looking at the window and seeing 3 tornadoes, in the front of the house we looked out and seen 2 more tornadoes.

It was a VERY scary and awakening time I will never forget and I will never willingly stay through another hurricane. We were very lucky our lives was spared. After the storm subsided enough to venture outside, I found pinestraws blown through my car windows still intack. not even a crack in the glass. all the trees, several oaks, pecans, and a few pines were either broken like twigs, completely uprooted or completely disappeared, we never found out where they went."

--Sheba

"I was so excited to read this account of H. Eloise, as it is the earliest rememberance I have of living through a hurricane. It was very early in the morning and dark outside when my father awoke us and announced we must dash out of the house and climb into the station wagon. Armed with blankets and pillows for the drive from Ft. Walton Beach to Tallahassee, we backed out of our driveway with the radio blaring warnings we could barely hear due to the pounding rain and terrible winds. My father decided it was too late. He couldn't see to drive, so he turned into the neighbors driveway.

I'll never forget watching him open his umbrella only to have the rain pour through it like a sieve! We made it indoors and stayed there until things calmed down to a drizzle.

Two trees had fallen on our house, many others were uprooted, one lay across our driveway whereour car had been parked, and we found many pieces of roofing from our back porch two blocks away! The power was out for several days, and I remember being scared of the dark and was allowed to take a flashlight to bed with me. I was only four years old and was still wearing my fuzzy red zip-up sleeper with feet when all this happened!"

--R. Lee

"I was 3-years old when Eloise came through southeast Alabama (Dothan, AL). I remember her because of the events that had taken place in the city leading up to it. The power was knocked out, because lightning had hit a transformer in the neigborhood. Also the house across the street from us caught on fire from electrical power lines lying in the streets. This storm although we have had many in this area has always stuck in my mind."

--Neeky

"Eloise is still very vivid in my memory. I was living in Aragon, Georgia which was about 85 miles NW of Atlanta. I left September 24th to go to Atlanta to be inducted into the Air Force. While going to the bus station, we had to drive around trees in the road. All the phones were out. When I got to Atlanta, I had to call my sister in Cartersville Georgia to let my wife know everthing was OK. Eloise devestated the area around my house. I haven't seen a hurricane since that had such power so far inland, not even Frances. "

--Wayne Hames

"I was in the 6th grade in Columbus Ga. My parents had gone to Arizona for vacation and my brother and I were staying with friends. Oddly enough the friend's maid's name was Eloise. Anyway, during an early morning class we were alerted to the storm because of trees outside the windows breaking in half. For some reason the Civil Alert system didn't sound when the "tornado" spawned from the tropical storm came through. Our teacher noticed the devistation and sent us all to the closets (inside walls).

There was plenty of damage. There was no electricity for a time as well as debris being everywhere. It was quite exciting for our class of 6th graders. "

--bb

"We were stationed in Montgomery the fall Eloise hit. All of our friends were in a state of panic. Having grown up with Missouri tornadoes, I wasn't overwhemled. When Eloise got to Montgomery, my daughter and I were sitting on our couch in the family room waiting. We sat and watched as a large pecan tree was nearly blown down in our back yard. Compared to tornadoes, I was impressed. "

--Carol

"I remember Elouise. We went to bed thinking she was going in at New Orleans. When we awoke about 7 AM it was on top of us in Geneva, AL. It never scared me, I stood at my Daddy's picture window and watched the pine trees fall across the street. Daddy owned a Jewelry Store in Down town Geneva.

After the storm, he headed out to get to town. He had to go across the Community Center parking lot, over to the road in front of the High School, down to the next street and then had to turn back to another street and after a couple more turns, due to trees across the roads, he made it to town. The awning had come down in front of the building and had broken the windows with merchandise still in the windows.

A few of the rings had been sucked out of the cases, but the cases were still there. The store was right across the street from the Police Dept and there was no looting. A few weeks after the storm, a farmer called to tell us he had found our trash can in his field about 20 miles away. It had our name painted on the side of the can, but it was not worth getting back.

The only damage at the house was a pine tree topped off and fell on top of the boat shelter. The men got up there to cut it down and during that opperation, Daddy lost the diamond out of his wedding band.

We had no electricity or water and had not prepared for a storm. We had one gas log in the fireplace and happened to have a 2 eye gas stove at the store, we took it home and connected it to that gas line to cook. We brought a battery out of one of the cars and hooked it to a battery TV. All the neighbors gathered at the house to watch TV.

My Uncle lived in Montgomery and came down with his RV and hooked one extention line to go in the house from his generator, just so we could make coffee and have one light in the house.

There are still pine trees today in Geneva, Alabama that lean over due to Elouise."

--zofko

"I was 14 years old living in Level Plains, Al. That's between Enterprise and Daleville. My family lived in a mobile home which my daddy had just purchased a few months earlier. It included the tie down straps (which were a new thing at the time), but daddy hadn't gotten around to strapping the trailer down. The morning of the September 23rd will be forever burned in my brain as we rode out the storm in the trailer! Actually it rode us real good.

I remember us not really taking it all too serious, but when a neighbor behind us came knocking on our door to tell us our storage shed had been blown over the fence in his yard, we got scared! Next thing you know, daddy is running out there to salvage what he could from the deep freezer and bring the packages of beef in to put in the freezer in the trailer. He got what he could.

We then gathered in the living room where I was on the sofa with my mom, sister and our dog Topper. Then all of a sudden a gust of wind came that lifted the trailer up a few feet and back down. Daddy said since the house was off the blocks that maybe the wind couldn't get under it now. Boy was he wrong! As he and my younger brother Lamar were going around opening windows to let the wind flow through another bigger gust came and the entire trailer went airborne!!!! I can still see it clearly in my mind, me headed toward the ceiling and in a split second we are in the open with the ruins of our home laying all around us. Fortunately the frame of the trailer was blown into the next lot.

If it had not, I think it would have landed on us and more than likely crushed us. We were able to get out of the weather into my daddy's station wagon. . . which by the way he always locks. And guess what? He didn't have his keys on him. They were now somewhere in the rubble! Lucky for us one door was unlocked. We all got in and just waited it out. Within a few minutes though a pick-up truck with a camper shell was driving by. They got us in the back and drove us to the nearby church.

We were very luck. September 23, 1975 will be a day I will never forget. It was also my sister Sharon's birthday. What a gift!"

--Jerome Jackson/Ozark, AL

"My husband was stationed at Eglin AFB in 1975. We lived in a trailer and when Eloise was threatening, we went to the office building he worked in on base. I was 8 1/2 months pregnant and we wanted to be comfortable, so we registered with those in charge and went to a place he knew that had a couch. As the night wore on and the storm got closer, we were informed that they were gathering all pregnant women and taking them to the base hospital. So we joined all the other pregnant couples in an old WWII ambulance for the trip across the base.

The poor airman who was driving couldn't get the transmission out of 1st, so we spent what seemed like an hour getting to the hospital. Fortunately, there was a lull in the storm. When we got to the hospital, there were people camped out everywhere! A kind nurse took pity on me and offered me a bed that had been set aside for nurses to use since they had to stay all night. The windows of the hospital were boarded up but my husband found one that we could watch the storm through. The trees were going sideways and every car in the parking lot had broken windows.

The wind sounded like a whip being cracked! Patients were moved into the hallways, first on one side of the building and then the other when the wind changed direction after the passing of the eye.

After the storm was over, we got back to our car in the office building parking lot.

We didn't realize that we had left the window with just a tiny opening. The wind-driven rain had left 6 inches of water inside the car! There were trees down everywhere and big signs were twisted. Our little trailer was unharmed. It was something we will never forget!"

--Anonymous

"I was 9 years old and lived in Hartford Alabama and remember my parents worrying about us because we lived in a trailer. Finally, we went to my aunt's house. When we came back home, our trailer had been lifted off the foundation and moved about 5 feet. My grandparents had a very large pecan tree in their yard and it was blown down. "

--Tam

"Hurricane Eloise hit our corner of the woods in SE Alabama 7 days before my 12th birthday. I remember watching the tin fly off the roof of our neighbors tractor barn which was located 2 acres across from our house. I remember that same neighbor backing up his heavy truck he used on his farm against his sister's mobile home so it would not slide off the blocks.

We had no electricity for about a week but we ate at the home of my great-aunt. She had a propaned powered gas stove. We ate what we were able to save from our freezers. I'm sure there were probably at least 20 relatives who ate together for a few days.

Although I now live in the neighboring state of Georgia (50 miles from the coast) and I will be 42 at the end of September, I still miss the huge Christmas tree that was located at the Slocomb Bank in Slocomb Alabama. Eloise took it down and I have never "forgiven" Eloise for that!"

--Anonymous

"It's the first thing I remember in my life. I was a 3 year old kid in Opelika, Alabama. I remember it just like it was yesterday. I remember going to the store and loading up on supplies and I remember trashcans flying down the street. "

--Jody


 

DISASTER DETAILS

Hurricane Eloise just southeast of Louisiana September 22, 1975

Courtesy of NOAA

Date(s): September 13-27, 1975

Location: Caribbean and Northeast U.S.

Deaths: 76

Injuries: 

Damage: $200M


Find Hurricane books on eBay!
Find Hurricane videos on eBay!

Register on eBay for free today and start buying & selling with millions each week!

   
FORUMS | Culture | Movies | Music | News | Sports | Sci/Tech | Timeline | TV



Copyright 1994-2017, Super70s.com. All Rights Reserved.
Use of this site is subject to our Terms of Service.
Privacy Statement