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Hurricane David

By Patrick Mondout

David was a powerful Category 4 hurricane that hit the Southeastern United States in early September 1979 after killing over 2,000 in the Dominican Republic. It had been a Category 5 storm for 36 hours in late August.

From August 28 to September 7, 1979, David caused over $1.2 billion in damages including nearly $500 million in the United States.

A professor at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has submitted his story from the perspective of a survivor in the Dominican Republic at the time and we've posted it here.

Source: NOAA.

 

Share Your Memories!

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

Your Memories Shared!

"I was 4 years old but remember it pefectly. We were living in the Dominican Republic at the time. We sat listening to a small radio, following the progression and in the middle of the hurricane my father began to worry that our house wouldn't survive. We took pillows and what we could carry (for my mom, that was carrying me). We walked to our car in the wind and rain. We had to drive a few blocks to my grandfather's house that was much sturdier. We couldn't keep candles lit in the house because the wind came through the slats of the windows and under the doors. The rain and wind were incredible! The next day we went back to our hose to see if it was still satnding. It was untouched. The two huge palm trees in our back yard had fallen away from the house. We were much luckier than a lot of people, there was a lot of damage. To this day, I am afraid of storms."

--Jaded4Life01

"Durring Hurricane David I came to close to death I've ever been to this day.I was staying at the Outer Banks and surfing as often as I could. There was no cable, satelitte, or Weather Channel where I lived. One morning I woke up and the surf was big. Maybe 6-7 feet. We surfed all day. The next day bigger than ever, bigger than we had ever seen. I would say 15 - 23 feet on the outside. Three of us decided to try to go out. Myself, a guy from California, and another guy I dont remember. The shore break was huge, 12-15 feet. One wrong move and you were slammed. I made it out to the third sand bar but then I was tired and got slammed in the zone. Wave after wave came I'd say a set of 7 or 9. Finally I cleared the foam and my buddy was off in the distance with my board. I lost my board beacause my leash broke I caught the next wave in and lay on shore for the next half hour or more. I nearly died. Don't watch a hurricane swell."

--David Traylor

"I was just a little boy - about 6 years old and my family was in our house in the Dominican Republic. We saw our neighbor's house fly on the sky like a kite. Horses were being washed away to the river by the strong currents. I saw my friend Carlos die when a wall crushed him on his lower body. Ever since, I've always been scared of hurricanes"

--Moises

"My name is Carlos, I was four years old at the time this terrible event took place. I can clearly remember my dad carrying me to a neighbors house, our home was not equiped for such thing. As we ran my dad tried to cover my face, i was able to lift the blanket a bit, and i can clearly remember seeing trees flying animals being draged houses in the air, and my dad holding on to a tree trying to stop us fron flying away."

--Anonymous

"I was 6 years old during Hurricane David, and I remember waking up to a loud crash in the middle of the night. My mom had used sofa cushions to build a kind of barrier around me, but the winds never broke our windows (we lived in Miami). The crash seemed to have come from outside the apartment. The storm bent a palm tree in outside our patio over so that the top of the tree touched the ground, and the next day I saw a shopping cart overturned outside our building. It appeared that it had been flung against an outside wall, making a dent about 5 feet off the ground. We had taped up our windows, leaving a crack open to alleviate wind pressure, and it was quite thrilling, at age 6, to watch the winds and rain. I don't think I ever felt in danger, but then again we did not live too close to the ocean, either."

--Anonymous

"I was nearly five when David hit Florida. I remember sleeping in a church with other families. At the height of the storm, coconuts flew from the trees outside and smashed into the stained glass windows.

When we returned home, the landscaping of our house had been torn up and there was debris every where. During the drive home, I remember not recognizing any thing we drove past."

--Anonymous

"In 1979 I was serving on board HMS Fife a Royal Navy destroyer based in the West Indies,when we were sent to aid the people of Dominica after David had visited the Island. The people were very happy to see the RN help teams move into action. Our tasks was to save life and assist the injured, also make safe any structures that had been damaged, get the international telphone system Cable & Wirelass up and running again as all the telephone lines and poles had been blown down. Get the hospital electrical power back on as soon as possible and get back to as normal as possible. Supplies of water and food were sent to all parts of the island using our helicopter and transport. We used the local islanders lorries and trucks with their owners as our drivers. We had to open up roads as landslides and mud slides had closed most of the roads. After a couple of weeks hard work we were sent to Barbados to collect more food and water for the islanders. When we returned we were sent home to Great Britian for a much earned rest. I hope our efforts helped the good people of Dominica."

--Danny Chrystal

"I was living in Isle of Palms, SC when Hurricane David hit. My birthday was September 5, and my present was a hurricane. We were one of the last families to evacuate with the winds just starting to blow at 40mph. It was a dificult time as there was only one road off the island, and the line of cars was causing long delays. We eventually made it up to Columbia, SC, (My mother sister, dog & cat) to stay with my uncle, and as it turned out...David followed us all the way up there, causing just about as much damage as we received on the Isle of Palms. So evacuation turned out to be a futile move. After about 2 days following the hurricane, we returned to Isle of Palms to see the damage....not so bad...although the beach erosion was pretty bad, and our favorite beach gazeba was washed into the sea. We were without power for about a week, which became the only true inconvenience. Clean up was not so bad...downed tree limbs, etc. We moved away from the Isle of Palms before it got leveled by Hurricane Hugo in the 80's. Lucky us."

--Anonymous

"I remember this storm hitting near Baltimore, Maryland when I was 6 years old. We lived at the bottom of a steep dead end street near a flood plain. The water rushing down the street rolled up pieces of the asphalt like carpet. The patches in the road are still there today. My father's car floated into the next door neighbor's yard and had to be dragged back to the driveway. I remember that there were dozens of televisions in the woods after the storm, I suppose they washed out of people's houses. This storm was one of the most memorable events of my childhood."

--Anonymous

"I was 9 years old when Hurricane David hit us on August 30 1979, but I remember it like as it was as far as yesterday. Our entire agriculture production was devastated and many towns were completely destroyed. At that time, many people used to live in wood houses, but after that horrendous day things have changed. The south coast took the worst part and it was where most of the damages and fatalities took place. Towns as San Cristobal and San Jose de Ocoa had to be almost 70% rebuilt.

Hurricane David produced a tremendous amount of rain. All rivers came out of its bands, causing great flooding all over the country. The Valdesia Dam, the country’s biggest at that time, was so full of water that authorities decided to dumped part of its content. Too much rain in a country with so many mountains like the Dominican Republic are a big trouble. So, you can imagine the picture."

--CARLOS RIZIK

"David was actually a category 5 hurricane when it tore through the Caribbean. When it landed on Palm Beach, FL, it was down to a category 2. I was 10 years old and living in Palm Beach at the time. I remember me and my father sitting on our porch in a bench swing. We'd see a lightning flash, and Dad would start to say "One alligator, two alligators, three..." until we heard the thunder. Once we got down to just one alligator, he took me inside. I remember the days before the storm was coming, we had to go out in the back yard and cut down all the bamboo trees, and we trimmed our rubber tree good. Finally, we closed all the storm window coverings and moved everything inside. I remember watching the news and seeing an entire hotel missing - just the foundation was left! I could not believe the power of a hurricane. It's memory has stayed with me and will forever."

--Rick Towns

"in the capital & as it is usual no one was prepared. No one believed it would go right through us. And that has always been our doom. Four or five yers ago the same thing happened. Most people didn't believe in "The weather channel" (even though they have "cable"). Two days before it hit us authorities released a statement. And then it was too late...again. But back to "Hurricane David"....I was fortunate because we were economically comfortable & our home did not suffer any damages. But I do remember that it was the first time in my life I had seen "horizontal rain" (as they say). The noise that the wind made was unberable & very frightening. The "eye" of the storm was strange also and almost ghostly. No noise not from birds, no nothing but it fooled the inexperienced. People go out thinking it is over and when it hits again...a lot of people loose their lives & their heads. With all the tin roofs of poors people homes flying around at high speed. Then it starts all over again but opposite direction. When it finally came to an end we all went outside & all the trees & whatever had some kind of height was gone. My brother & I found a live "star fish" struggling through the grass. Which we kept as a souvenir of course. No lights (and it still happens to this day), no water, running out of food. The USA went to help but most of the food they gave away people were not familiar with (specially poor people). And they would take it & sell it to Middle class & Upwards in exchange for something that they could eat even though it wa given to them as a gift. My parents decided to sent both my brother & I to Puerto Rico when the airport opened to my godparents house until things got better. They did...but it re shaped the face of the capital. It never looked the same."

--Dominicangirl in CA

"I was on the beach in Jupiter when the eye of David came ashore. It was not forcast at that time to come that far west and I was suprised to see the blue sky in the center of the storm when it did hit. Before that the sand from the beach was sandblasting me and verticle wind and rain made it dangerous even to walk. In the eye birds started to come out from hiding and sunlight poked through and illuminated everything. I was not aware of storm surge, and luckily it was not that severe. David was the only eye of a hurricane I've ever seen, and I still tell the story of being on the beach when it came over."

--Anonymous

"I had turned 4 Sept 2 when this hit the Carolinas. I remember my mother putting mattresses over the large windows in the house and putting my older sister and me in between the mattress and boxspring of her bed. The tree in my front yard fell down and landed on the garage. I remember how dark it was and all of the rain."

--Anonymous

"During our holiday in Barbados in 1979 as an 11 year old boy I remember that night sleeping in a wardrobe because we had to stay away from the windows. Baricaded with matrasses and taped up they still remained a threat if shattered by powerful winds. Water saved and food ready-cooked stored in our hotel-room we awaited disaster which was partly averted as David decided to spare Barbados for the bigger part by a twist of fate. My father learned this listening to the short-wave radio in the same hall-way where our family of five stayed there for the whole night. The next day we learned of the destruction David caused in Dominica and were greatful having been spared of such an ordeal."

--Gert Daleboudt

"I do remember this storm! I grew up in St. Augustine (about 30 miles south of Jacksonville, FL). As a nine year old, this was the first major storm in my memory and I recall carefully plotting it as it moved steadily toward the Florida coast. I wasn't frightened by the possible danger until my mother laid out my clothes at the end of the bed explaining that we may have to leave suddenly if storm conditions worsened. Thankfully, it was just a glancing blow with damage limited to uprooted trees and extensive flooding. My father worked at the local hospital (Flagler Hospital) then located on the bayfront of our tiny ancient city. He shared many vivid stories about the preparations made for the possible storm strike and since we lived nearby he was one of the few employees able to return to work the next day in order to assist with the clean-up of the facility.

As a native Floridian I have watched the extensive development of the coastline with some trepidation. We were lucky in '79. Will we be again?"

--Amy

"How well I remember Hurricane David. I was just a few years old at the time. However, I will never forget living in West Palm Beach. We had left our home which was just a few blocks from the beach to seek higher ground. However, Hurricane David had other ideas for me. While we at the hotel, the strong winds of Hurricane David picked me up. If it hadn't been for my father grabbing a hold of me, who knows where "King" David would have put me!"

--Mouse

"I was working on a Merchant Marine Freighter and we were in Charleston S.C. when Hurricane David was off the Florida Coast.
We left Charleston En-Route to Panama navigating towards the passage between Cuba & Haiti. Our anamometer ( Measures Wind Speed ) rose to it's maximum reading of 100 Knots and stayed there for about 12 hours before slowly coming down. We had an old Barometer: the kind that you wind-up once a week and there is a Sheet of Paper that's records the Atmospheric Pressure with ink. The pressure got so low that it went all the way off the paper. Waves were huge 30 to 40 feet. Our 15' diameter propeller was coming out of the water sending tremendous vibrations throughout the ship. The bow would dive into huge walls of water that caused damage on deck, mainly ventilation pipes of 3' to 4' high bent in 2. We definitely experienced the bad Semi-Circle of this Monster. Our normal seaspeed of 16 Knots was reduced to a mere 3 to 4 knots.

That was my Perfect Storm but I survived."

--Navigateur

"Our second son, Alex David, is named after Hurricane David. I moved Nassau, Bahamas in the summer of 1979 and met the woman who was to be my wife during the storm. She was from Altoona, PA and I was a Canadian recently moved to the Bahamas for adventure. Lou Ann was a tourist and after a brief encounter of no significance, she left Nassau the hotel to return home at the end of her vacation. But David blew through and she was stranded at the Nassau airport with her sister and her friend. She called my place and I put them up for the two additional days. We got to know each other and wrote for over a year and finally re-acquainted ourselves in August of 1980. Two years later we were married and have three great kids...and of course the most memorable of them all is Alex DAVID, for without DAVID we would never have gotten together at all! Thanks David!! [Editor's note: Just goes to show that not all disasters end in tragedy for all the survivors.]"

--Doc Mac

"I was hiking solo on the Appalachian Trail in Virginia when this hurridcane came up the coast. I had to hole up in a stone shelter with several other poeple when the storm hit. The winds and rain were so fierce that we could barely hear each other, even though we were huddled together under the tin roof of the shelter. Trees were snapping and falling against the roof with the sound of a cannon. The water level in front of the shelter kept rising and was choked with debris; we all thought we would have to climb up into the rafters! Somehow we made it thru the night though, and the next day was perfectly clear and blue. For the next several days, though, every stream I tried to cross was swollen and rushing, making the hiking fairly difficult."

--Anonymous

"I was seven years old living in Florida when Hurricane David hit. We boarded up our windows and waited. I remember debris flying everywhere and a few signs maybe. I know it sounds strange, but my mother was excited for it to come. She loves big storms and probably knew we wouldn't be hardest hit. More than anything I remember the feelings of anxiety of all the neighbors. When I think of all the people that died during the storm in the Dominican, it makes me feel sad for their communities and I feel lucky that we didn't get hit like that. "

--Layla

"I was five years old, it was my parents' honeymoon! (My mother and stepfather). They were both such good sports that us kids spent the honeymoon with them in Hilton Head South Carolina. Well, if you think just bringing two kids on a honeymoon vacation spells trouble, just add a hurricane for extra excitement. We were still driving down to Hilton Head when the storm struck and we needed to stop the car and just pull over. I remember sitting in the car, not afraid at all, just listening to the rain come down. The next day at our hotel I experienced childlike fascination of the flipped lounge chairs and broken umbrellas."

--Anonymous

"I was only seven years old and living in Satellite Beach, Florida when Hurricane David occurred. Although I didn't know the category, I knew a lot of people were concerned about the huge storm that was coming.

I remember the waves getting huge and the wind howling just a day or two before the big part of the storm hit. My parents took me and my older brother to a friend's house on the mainland because they thought the storm surge would flood the entire beach area. It was late at night when the eye came directly over us and I remember going outside to take a look.

It was so peaceful and the stars were so bright in the sky. It was beautiful and frightening at the same time because we were surrounded by clouds. The storm's eye moved on and for the rest of the night we slept in the hallway. In the morning we returned home and our house was one of the few that had not been smashed by trees or debris. By the way, my older brother's name is David."

--Steve

"I was only 2 years old when Hurricane David hit S. Florida. I was living in Boynton Beach at the time and remember waking up in the middle of the night, or what I thought was the middle of the night, to see all the windows boarded up and hearing a loud howling sound outside, which was the wind. The storm uprooted some of our trees and blew down our backyard fence. I was also in S. Florida for Andrew, but for Palm Beach County David was far worse. "

--Brian

"I was 17 years old and living in Ceiba, Puerto-Rico when hurricane David ripped thru the Carribbean! What a lot of people do not realize about this powerful hurricane is that although the Dominican Republic did suffer the worst from this storm, Puerto-Rico was hit hard also. What I remember vivdly was that this was a category 5 storm.

We were experiencing sustained winds of 130-150 mph and gust to 200 mph! The storm lasted 3 days there. I was actually pretty safe living in base housing at Roosevelt Roads Naval Station, which is built specifically to withstand these storms, however off the base lot's of islanders were not so lucky. Lot's of people were drowned because of the terrential rains from the hurricane, and lot's of peoples homes were destroyed from the powerful winds. This was actually my first hurricane experience. Frederick would be my next a year later, but Frederick was weak in comparison to David as far as Puerto-Rico is concerned. (Chris)"

--Heavenbound

"I was in Cocoa Beach, Fl when David hit. There were 5 of us partying together. Actually I was heartbroken from the breakup with my first love of 4 yrs. so I wasn't in the mood for any partying. Everyone else I was with though was oblivious to the danger at hand. I was 19 years old. We were staying in a Motel 6 second floor. The island was evacuated and we went to a shelter on the next island over. We stayed there in a school shelter for a few hours (with their cooler full of booze).

I remember being terrified from the constant loud whistle of the wind. So loud and unrelenting. I looked out on the parking lot and all of the cars (a few hundred at least) were banging into one another like they were stones being sifted from the sand on a big piece of screen or something. It was so surreal. Just before the worst of the storm was due to hit Cocoa Beach, my friends decided to go back to the Motel 6. I was scared and didn't know anyone at the shelter so I reluctantly went with them.

There wasn't a soul on the island, not even a policeman. We made our way back to the motel (which was beachfront). Waves were crashing the beach at 15 ft. high at least. Fireballs were flying from the antennas on the rooftops from one building to another. Lightning everywhere. And still that constant loud whistle. My friends broke into the office and stole the keys to the top floor. They opened every room and started a card game. They were all drunk so what did they care? My fear was compounded by the fact that the hurricane was obviously to be reckoned with, but also that if we all died it would be on my conscience. Being the only sober one in the group I felt obligated to "take charge" for the safety of everyone there. The only problem was I was the youngest and didn't have the car keys. I

spent most of the evening in the bathtub with a raft. Just in case the storm surge took us out I figured at least I could float long enough to get lucky and be rescued. It was the most terrifying night of my light. I remember it vividly. The next morning we rode down the beach to witness several hotels destroyed. The entire 2nd floor of on motel was gone. That motel was just 5 miles south of where we were."

--Anonymous

"I just moved to Port St. Lucie, Florida. At the end of the first summer in our new house we had the privilage to experience Hurricane David. We were monitoring the strength and course of this storm to the point of boarding up the windows. Hurricane David did downgrade a bit since the ravage in the Dominican Republic. But none the less it put all of us in our place that night and day. Hurricane bands were obvious after the night set in. By morning it was a constant strong wind and rain. The next day the eye hit land I believe just north of Jupiter, Florida. I remember the calm of the eye for maybe 10-20 minutes.

I do not remember blue skies, but it was pretty calm. We had a golf course pond in the back of our yard and I watched a catfish flopping back and forth making its way across the street in the front of our house. We rushed to prop up and nail a full sheet of plywood up over the broken window of the newly built empty house next door. We did not have any time to 2nd guess our workmanship of the window repair because a sudden quick brisk full gust of wind came from across the yard. We turned and walked straight back into the house.

We spent the next half a day experiencing the heavy wet winds hitting the OTHER side of the house. David gave us a lot of rain, a lot of damaged and leaning trees, lots of signs were damaged. GDC The General Development Corporation had 4 of the houses they were building - blown down."

--The house on Erwin Road

"I was living in Indian Harbour Beach, Florida when Hurricane David hit on Labor Day l979. By the time the hurricane reached us, it had been downgraded to Tropical Storm, with winds at about 60 miles per hour. However, these winds managed to uproot large trees, twist highway billboard signs, and to destroy many homes. One of our friends got home to find her entire townhouse destroyed. All that remained were some soggy clothes and a water-logged piano. As for our family, our house survived, but we had some ceiling damage.

As the storm approached, I remember the police coming around with a loud speaker, telling us to evacuate. Our only car was in the shop. By chance, a friend had left us his car to watch, while he was traveling overseas. So we made our escape in a borrowed car. A temporary shelter was set up at Brevard Community College, were we stayed for about two days. I remember the Salvation Army bringing a cart around with sandwiches. Terrible sanwiches, but we were kids and ate as many as they gave us. I was about 17 at the time, and remember this incident as a great adventure. As trees twisted around outside the shelter window, we just played cards and enjoyed the experience. Sam 8/14/04"

--Sam

"I was in the US Navy back in 1979 and stationed in Puerto Rico. I never saw a hurricane in my life being a native of Long Island NY. WE were well protected and the rains did nothing to base and we all having a grand time. I went out the base after the Storm and saw the beach was gone and the water on the roads and some damage to buildings. I never really saw damage until they told us that Jamaica and other islands were devastated.

Now there was another story during Hurricane David that hit West Palm Beach. . . my grandmother who was from Spain and did not speak english was taking care our my Parents brand new house. My parents were in NY to finish moving stuff. My grandmother told me it was a scary experience, thankfully nothing series happened to our new home. This was fortunate for us, but something to remember, when later we would have other hurricanes.

"

--David

"I will never forget Hurricane David. I lived in Neptune Beach, (Jacksonville). I was 12 going on 13 and very curious about the storm. I had been through one as a child in Key West, but didn't really remember much except the rain and my mom holding me. My father, sister, and I boarded up all of the windows on the front side of our house. We had a 2 year old brick house about 5 blocks from the ocean. My dad worked at the Naval Base, Mayport, as a chief petty officer.

He was constantly updated on the storm. I remember the winds getting so bad, that we thought the wood panels would buckle or the roof was going to come off when the wind gusted. We decided to go take shelter at the Navy base. I remember our 1979 Monte Carlo, was rocking in the wind! Wow, that was something I never thought could happen to such a big and heavy car. I figured out later that the winds were only 65 to 70 miles an hour with higher gusts. So, my point is very simple. I saw what a downgraded storm could do to a town. I couldn't even imagine what a category 3 or higher storm would do to the beaches of Jacksonville. I will always respect the potential destruction that a Hurricane can hold, regardless of its stregth."

--John

" I will never forget Hurricane David. I was in New York at the time about 8 years old. I know that the Carribean got hit real bad but New England got zapped good too. The winds were incredible, what a howl. It was so bad they closed the first day of School!! The first day!!! We went for a drive the next day and there were trees and telephone poles snapped like twigs all over the place. Debris everywhere, what a mess.

Ive seen a lot of them since 1979. . . . NOTHING compares to Hurricane David. It was the baddest."

--Forbin

"I was 28 living in Vero Beach. Friends and I had a hurricane party. Did not have power for a week and I had lots of clean up outside. Nothing happened to the house. "

--Anonymous

"The water in the toilet was swirling counterclockwise during the eye of the storm! All by itself and in the opposite direction for the Northern Hemisphere.

I lived in a sturdy two-story rented house in Fort Pierce, Florida, built in 1927. In spite of the home's river location (beautiful view!) near the ocean, we decided to stay home and ride out the storm. As the elderly landlord who had lived on the property all his life pointed out, the house had withstood many hurricanes. He helped us secure the house's many windows (I think there were 70 of them) with wood boards, which he had expertly custom-fitted and neatly stored for occasions such as this.

I was a just-out-of-school photographer/videographer for the local CBS affiliate, and brought one of the station's few video cameras home to record the big event. I captured some dramatic video during the fury of the storm through a couple of un-boarded but sheltered windows from inside the house. I wasn't crazy enough to go out in it, and neither were many other photogs in the area. Consequently, there was very little video, and that footage aired over and over again, even a few years later.

The house fared just fine, although some of the stately and amazingly flexible Palm trees in the yard lost a lot of fronds. Nearby roofs were ripped off buildings and streets were impossible to cross. Electric power, water and phone service were restored within a few days.

I write this on Sept. 2, 12:05 a. m. , keeping an anxious eye on Hurricane Frances. David was quite something to experience, and Frances is potentially much more devastating. "

--pamd

"I remember Hurricane David well. I was a young sailor in the United States Navy stationed on board the U. S. S. Saratoga. As David started up the Florida coast all ships in our home port of Mayport were ordered out to sea, with the exception of the Sara, due to our being a large Aircraft Carrier. All crew already on board were resticted to the ship while her ballast tanks were filled to lower her in the water. We battened down the hatches to ride out the storm. We faired much better then other areas hit and especially the unfortunate people in the Carribean. "

--Wes Ray

"I was living in a small concrete block house in Melbourne. It was an old neighborhood and windows had heavy metal shutters at that time which covered the glass and anchored down. Winds tore at the house and through the neighborhood for hours. My neighbor had one of those wind guages and measured winds steady of 130 miles per hour.

There was a constant loud noise for what seemed the longest time, like standing beside the train tracks during a long freight passage. And then it stopped. I peeked outside and the winds were calming and slowly subsided. There was a weird mist in the air. I went outside. It was still. I looked up and found I was in the eye of the hurricane. Through the large hole you could see stars and I believe it was daytime. The smell in the air was unusual, primortial. I watched as the eye crossed over the sky above me. I felt little. I stood in awe wondering how many people ever get to see the eye of the hurricane, to stand out in it, to be a part of its tranquility as well as its fury.

But soon the mist turned into rain, and the winds began to pick up. I heard voices from other houses yelling at me to get inside. I did. The winds returned along with the noise. When it was all over, entire neighborhoods were left in shambles throughout Brevard County. Many of my friends lost parts or all of their homes. But the old places just stood there like small white obelisks trimmed in turquoise or pink paying hommage to an era of Florida gone by."

--the goatkeeper

"For every storm when I was growing up, we went to my grandmother's house in Hollywood, FL. I remember the shutters going up, and my dad going back to work to help prepare the power plant for the storm. The only thing I really remember from the storm was my grandmother and dad sweeping water back to the door where it was leaking in from the driving rain. My grandmother's house was built by her and my grandfather so they made sure to put extra straps on the roof beams, and the house was all block. Given the option, I would go back to that same house today and stay there for this storm."

--weatherangel

"I'm from Melbourne FL. and what I remember was having friends, (beach refugees) over to share our main-land home with us throughout David.

We played cards and games and in general it was a lot like the old days of having to amuse yourself without aid of electricity etc. altho we DID have electricity.

We watched tv to keep abreast of what was happening and would look outside every once in a while to watch the palm trees bend as if in a huge ballet with nature.

When the eye passed over we took our son (age 4) out in of the front door just a few feet to see the sky and take in the intense sound of quiet as the center of the storm hovered over us for a time.

As soon as we saw the wind begin to pick up from the now opposite direction we immediately went back into the house and battened down for the other side to pass.

Afterwards the thunderstorms were intense, our backyard looked like a swimming pool and a few odd roof tiles blew off. . . but otherwise we did well.

David was a memory I'm sure my son Jason will never forget. I am only grateful that David was his childhood memory as opposed to Andrew or Charley or Frances.

Hurricanes are indeed frightening and can be so devastating, but I'd much rather take my chances with a hurricane that I KNOW is coming days in advance then live in tornado alley where they can blindside you at 200+ mph.

There is a price to live in paradise. But for some of us. . it's worth it. "

--Anonymous

"I was 16 years old and living in Santo Domingo when hurricane David arrived. I had heard stories about deadly hurricanes at the beginning of the century, but thought maybe our grandmothers were exaggerating. Cows flying? … come on… Of course, that all changed when I experienced my first REAL hurricane: before David, we had seen lesser storms come by so I wasn’t very scared.

We had a big house in the suburbs on top of a hill, with many glass doors and big windows which made it more vulnerable to the winds. The house was fairly new, so as it turns out, some mistakes were sadly discovered during the storm! The two balconies upstairs drained each into a flower box, which in turn drained out.

Problem is, we hadn’t noticed this before, so the incredible amounts of water filled the balconies as the water came in faster than it could drain through the dirt. This, in turn, would come into the bedrooms. Going out and taking buckets of water out of the balconies was only one of the many tasks we had to perform during the storm. We had to actually take turns and couldn’t sleep through the night or day. We had to leave the family room, flanked with huge glass doors on each side, since the doors seemed as if they were going to pop any time. I had never seen glass bend so much. Water came in through all the doors and windows.

I remember opening the door from the kitchen to the patio to sweep some water out before it accumulated again. The force of the wind on the door was so great that it almost nailed me to the adjacent wall. Not one minute after I had completed my task and was hopelessly “sealing” the door by jamming a towel underneath, when I heard what sounded like an explosion. The noise was so loud I thought the concrete roof had collapsed on top of me and I braced for the impact. I though I was going to die. But nothing came down on me. Everybody else in the house came running to see what was happening to me, but I couldn’t figure it out.

Then we heard a loud noise of something being dragged and tumbling in the wind. We went to the front window to see what it was. Unbelievable. The next-door house had had a covered porch, attached to the house on two walls, and the other two walls of the porch were made of aluminum jalousie windows. The wind had ripped the whole porch out – roof, windows and wood siding – and it had crashed it on our house right outside the kitchen. It then lifted it up down an alley, jumped above a 6ft iron fence, and kept rolling out our front yard until it disappeared. I’ll never forget that!

After the storm, we spent 5 days without water and 3 weeks without electricity. We would have to go to relatives’ houses to shower and do laundry. You would try to go to someone else’s house and discover an impassable road on the way and you had to turn around and find another way in. School was out for a long time, as were many businesses and services. Our house did not suffer any damage other than the dent on the kitchen door and a ruined yard.

Whatever you might have lived through a storm here in the US, imagine it magnified several times in a poor country with no federal aid and little coming in from donations.

I remember hearing about people who came from an electric company in the US (don’t know which one, though) to help restore electric service. They turned back home, unable to help us, when they saw the precarious conditions under which they worked down there in terms on security and technology.

Whatever inconveniences my family suffered during the storm and afterwards, was nothing compared to all the people who died or lost all their possessions.

I thank God that we did all right even though our protection consisted of masking tape on the glass surfaces. It was the Super70s after all!

"

--Jenny

"I'm currently a resident of nothern Virginia but my family and I are from and were living in Goodwill, Dominica when hurricane David struck. I was 101/2 years old at the time. Like most I remember that day like it was yesterday. Believe it or not the day actually started off sunny but no breeze. I remember my dad debating wether or not to go to work that morning and deciding to stay home. From what I recall, the wind started up about 10:30 am as a stiff breeze.

Less than an hour later galvanized roof parts were being torn from warehouses and wooden buildings. I got to observe the early part of the hurricane from a 2nd floor window in our concrete house. About 3 hours into the storm our house started to shake vigorusly and my da noticed the roff starting to lift off from the rest of the house. He and a male adult relative rushed everyone downstairs and grabbed a couple of mattresses to barricade the second floor from the first floor. From then on I felt sheer terror until falling asleep around 9pm that night. I recall hearing constaltly howling and whistling with the occasional crashing of windows.

Our first floor sat about a foot below land level so we sat on tables to escape the water in the house. Whenever you looked outside the intense rain with the wind the simulation of actually seeing the wind. The next morning the sun was shining as normal but when we climbed the hill behind the house almost all buildings in our viewing looked destroyed. Dominica which anyone who has visited it knows it is a lush and grren island. When you looked at the mountains they appeared as if Dominica was in the latter stages of fall with trees standing with no leaves. 25 years later I can still picture the sights and hear the sounds of that August afternoon. Based on the devastation I think god spared the lives of several of us that day. . . . . . . ."

--S. Toussaint

"It was another hot, stuffy September morning when the frenzied forecasts of Hurricane Frances took up a great deal of local television coverage. Each stations meteorologist attempted to draw the most likeliest course that the hurricane would take. I will never be able to tell you the panic and dread that those graphics depictions on television did to me, when every course was tracked directly for Miami. It was the memory of the havoc and ruination that had befallen Dominica in 1979 when I was 10 years old had resurfaced. The once splendid scenery girding the island with its rugged mountains and lush rivers, were literally plundered by Hurricane David.

The weather reports had warned of an impending hurricane, but we in Dominica were consumed by a foolish sense of security, that we would be protected from serious damage by our abundance of mountains. It was thought, and actually believed that the mountains would act as wind breaks against strong winds. No one was prepared for the onslaught. When it came the islanders were trapped in rickety houses, with leaking roofs, and unstable foundations.

The bleak shivering wind performed antics with my vision as I looked outside through an open window on the lee-side of our house. There was a thundering violent rain pouring that sounded like pebbles on our galvanized roof. There was never a greater trying of my equanimity than to experience Hurricane David in its unmitigated fury. All of my courage and mettle had to convene, to weather the wrath and ferocity of the gusts and rain, and the shimmer and bellow and clack of the bolts which descended in rapid sequences .

When the roof of our house literally lifted and floated away, I was sure that we all would soon die.

We cowered in a closet and prayed with terror and dread as the rest of the house shook from the diabolic barrage.

When it was over our lives were spared but not our house. We all in Dominica had found new respect, and estimation for that particular force of nature. Hurrican David was the single greatest terror of my life. "

--DonVal

"I am a Dominican who survived Hurricane David. I was 11 years old then and have a vivid recollection of the events from the morning it started to the end. Fortunately for us our home buffered on three sides by bigger buildings (all destroyed), survived and provided shelter for over 300 people for the duration of the storm and over 40 for a few days more, The last one left 14 months after the hurricane, his home had been obliterated.

It started on the morning of the 29th August 1979, school was closed and people were told casually of the approaching hurricane and took it in stride, mainly because of the usual summer storms and rain which never interrupted life there. As children out of school we were eager to see this thing as our only reference to the potential power of this monster was from older folk and their fading memories.

At 9 am the awesome power of David became apparent as we were witness to roofs being torn off buildings. There is one gas station on the corner of Federation Drive and Winston Lane whose operator was on the roof nailing it back as it was torn off. Before long the poor guy was forced to abandon his salvage efforts and run for his life.

My mother operated a restaurant on the Roseau river bank, she and my grandmother was already there, when they too were forced to abandon the place and return home. When she arrived she told of the whole destruction of Roseau and how she had barely made it back with the Roseau river already sweeping over the East Bridge (then called the new bridge) winds lifting the front of her car and that she was forced to make many stops before reaching home evading falling light poles and other flying debris.

Suddenly David had arrived in earnest with a maddening howling wind, we all stood in awe when whole roofs would take flight before our eyes and then disintegrate in an instant. At first we kids were amused but soon lost that to fear, deep fear of what was to come. Horizontal sheets of rain poured from all directions, electricity poles fell all over the place and rushing water was everywhere. During the eye of the storm we went out to assess the damage and were totally shocked to see the suddenly changed environment, not a tree was left standing, not a single tree. The surrounding hills and mountains were bare, with brown soil exposed, there was no vegetation and an eerie silence ensued.

Unannounced it was back as bad or worst that before, our home was bruised but the roof held and the surrounding lanes residents, (Benjamin lane and McIntyre Lane) somehow got word that our house on Jolly Lane was still standing and they just kept coming and we accepted all of them, mothers and babies, expecting mothers, fathers, children, the elderly, just everyone came. The three bedroom house had people in every square inch of its floor and beds and kitchen etc, but it was dry and had a roof. The men who came kept a lookout for more people needing shelter and they kept on coming.

Some of the men I viewed as heroes as they would go and return with more people, risking life and limb to save them. And the storm kept on coming, there were lightning strikes all over the place and it would be as bright as day for a split second and then pitch black the next all that time it was morning.

The howling seemed to go on forever and outside all the walls was plastered with leaves from destroyed trees. Electric and telephone lines were everywhere, all the roads were blocked with debris.

Princess Margaret Hospital just 2000 yards away was decimated but somehow managed to operate a triage where the dead and wounded started to arrive. Then after 7 hours the winds diminished, and then widespread looting ensued.

The city of Roseau was rampaged by looting hordes and they took any and all things they could carry. Whole buildings on the Port at Woodbridge Bay were leveled. The food storage warehouses were all smashed and people simply picked up sugar and other staples and walked away.

The streets were filled with homeless people I estimate of 70% of the area population lost their homes and lumber and other supplies were simply looted. The police and the then Dominica Defense Forces were helpless and the looting went on and on for over 24 hours.

Chaos rained, and then on the horizon came the British Navy. As an 11 year old I followed my older brothers to the action, there were huge holes in the main port from the raging Caribbean Sea and some coastal roads had simply vanished, there were huge mudslides and there was word of widespread death.

Lindo Park (goodwill playing field) became a helipad and the goodwill school grounds became a base for the French and American soldiers helping with the reconstruction efforts. Huge airlifts began and the Princess Margaret Hospital was quickly repaired by the US, British and French. I made friends with many of the soldiers and got my share of MREs (this was new to us kids).

Relief supplies poured in from all directions and rations began. School on the island did not resume for several months and by that time I was sent overseas to school during the rebuilding effort.

My generation of Dominicans are indelibly scared by this experience and have never taken a hurricane lightly since. Many other hurricanes have come since David but we did much better. The island did learn unfortunately at much expense and discomfort.

I would like to give much more detail but it will be to long. "

--Dominican from Jolly Lane, Goodwill

"I remember Hurricane David well. I was 9 years old and our family had just moved from New Jersey to "sunny" Florida the previous year. We lived in a very old house on Granada Avenue in what is now the "historic" section of Ormond Beach.

My brother, who was 13 at the time, and I were soooo excited about this big hurricane that was coming; our mother allowed us to stay out on the old front screened-in porch and watch this exciting thing happen. It was a such a rush seeing and feeling the wind whip all the trees around and the lights blinking off and on. At the time, it was like watching, and being INSIDE a really exciting action movie.

Then I remember the sudden calmness of the "eye" of the storm as it brushed past our part of the state. Our mother explained to us what the "eye" was and warned that there would be more coming; and there WAS, just as she said. That's when things got really scary. Pieces of wood and screen from our porch started breaking and flying around; and our mother forced us to go inside for the reminder of the storm.

I remember being really scared that night, but very excited about the whole experience at the same time. And having my brother with me to share it with made me feel secure.

So, from the standpoint of my own "childhood" memory of Hurricane David, it was a wonderful and exciting experience; and now I can say, "Yes, I do remember. . . . . . . ""

--Dana

"I remember we lived in Puerto Rico, the sport's teams from our school were called the "Hurricanes". We had hurricane days instead of snow days. We took a direct hit and watched it from the taped windows of our apartment. Trees fell on cars, we couldn't distinguish the sea from the land. The power was out and we were listening to the radio, it mentioned there was another hurricane called Fredrick out at sea, we had been out of school a few days and it was rather exciting being home and getting to play all day. My older brother said "fredrick come on down!" Like they say on Price is Right, and sure enough Fredrick hit a few days later and the damage was tremendous. "

--Anonymous

"I was stationed at Key West Naval Air Station . At 20, this was my first incounter with a hurricane and I didn't know what to expect. Florida Governor Grahm evacuated the Florida Keys. However, Naval personnel stayed in place. We were told of possible 15 ft storm surges that would cross the island. The base boarded up, flew the aircraft to Jacksonville, and waited. Of course, at that age and being in the Super70s, a hurricane party was also in our forecast.

David turned slightly north and spared the keys a direct hit. We did encounter wind and rain, but not severe. Shortly after David, hurricane Frederick came much closer with stronger winds. "

--Vince

"I got my first "Real Job" the summer of 1979 working in the kitchen of a Girl Scout camp in the Florida Keys. Westsummerland Key to be exact. I was 15 and at the end of the summer I would be paid a whole $800! Big bucks for a young girl from Ft Lauderdale, Fla.

At some point we were all told by Ms. Neal, the camp director, that there was a hurricane by the name of David heading towards Florida and the Gov. had ordered for the Mandatory Evacuation of the Keys. The plan was to relocate the campers to an Equestrian Camp in Coral Gables instead of refunding money and closing camp for the summer. The sticky part of this plan was that jail convicts were being sent to the camp to break down tents and they would be there in an hour! Rule number 1---No Girl Scouts could be on the ground at the same time as the Convict helpers. T

he hardest part was telling two bus loads of girls to pack up and load up in 1 hour. To this day I don't know any woman who can pack in less than a day! Needless to say, complete chaos ensued and was still in progress when the bus load of convicts arrived. When all of the girls were finally on the bus with a bus load of convicts right next to the same bus, I was told that I would be the only kitchen staff member evacuating at that time and I would be responsible for feeding the entire group when we arrived to the Coral Gables Camp! That is, after I could unload and find what kind of food was loaded for the trip. In the chaos of packing to evacuate. . . noone had done an inventory of what was packed. At 15 years old in the middle of a natural disaster I was told, "Don't worry! You'll do fine! Good Luck!".

I don't remember any of the time between leaving Westsummerland and arriving in Coral Gables. Scared out of my witts at the thought of having to feed this many "Picky Princesses" is what I was! I was sure that they would "Eat ME alive!" if I failed to achieve such a monumental task.

I am proud to say I was a complete success! The whole camp ate tuna fish sandwiches with crushed Lay's potato chips and warm Kool Ade. Not one whine or complaint from the whole lot of them. I did get alot of "Thank You" and "Good Job" comments. The camp director even called my mom and dad to tell them what their 15 year old daughter had accomplished and to this day my dad still tells this story and lets me know how proud of me he still is.

The moral of this story is "Scouting builds character and leadership skills".

I would like to thank the GSA organization for helping me realize that day that this once young girl had what it took to be a Leader for life."

--Tiadelex

""Well at the time I was too young to remember Hurricane David. I was just 8 months living with my mom and dad in Dominica. My mum along with some elderly folks gave me a long history of hurricane David when it first hit up till when the eye past exactly over Dominica. Mummy told me that at that time the caribbean wasn't that sophisticated as to say, having all the latest technology to track down hurricanes. All we depended on was the local radio broadcasting from Barbados.

At that time Barbados was our chief weather advisors. Dominicans knew that there was a storm out in the atlantic but never really worried about that because they never got hurricanes as such. Now that was were we they took the forces of nature for granted. Mummy said that Hurrinane David struck at about 6:30pm on August 30 1979 with maximum sustained winds of 155mph.

To show you how unexpected Dominica was, when the hurricane hit people were still coming from work. We all know at nights are the worst time when a hurricane should hit and boy mum said that when the first half passed over the island, the entire country was already flat. Houses ended up on other house, trees destroyed houses, the seas had 20ft waves which just destroyed all of the coastline roads totally, galvanize sheets flew and scattered all about the place. She said that she could tell that the center of the eye passed over because it was so quiet and peaceful.

Now it was up for round two and in the other direction now. More destruction everywhere.

Way through the late evening early morning hours mummy and daddy were sheltering the storm when the roof was starting to lift up. In those days houses were much stronger then, we had no concrete blocks at the time but the house were built which good quality hard wood. Now these days we build houses by parts and assemble then together with glue and staple guns. It's true that the houses at the time were strong but all of them fell to the powerful winds of hurricane David. Mom and Dad had to leave our home to seek shelter elsewhere.

Again I knew nothing of what happenned. After the storm passed, they all thought that everyone on the island died. To show you how bad it was mom said that people who were return to their homes from the shelter had to go look for the pieces of their home because the hurricane took it and sent it somewhere else. They all had to walk because all roads were gone, poles and lines were down, no water and no electricity for weeks upon weeks (David destroyed the power station).

Thank God they all made it through this extreme devastation and if I was old enough at the time to see what hurricane David did, I don't think I would ever forget it. Up till now Dominica is still coping with the effects of 1979. Some last closing words for everyone, "I'm 25 yrs now and though I never experienced David, meaning to see it for myself all the views and true stories I heard from older folks who went through if made me feel like I was there. So please never take hurricanes for granted because they are so destructive and can take your live away like. . . snap. ""

--Clinton

"I was 7 years old when Hurricane David came to our small town of Deltona, FL, which was about 30 miles inland from Daytona Beach. I will never forget the terror I felt as the noise level grew to what sounded like a massive freight train barreling down on our little house. It had become pitch black outside in the middle of the day and the horizontal rain was just as loud and as furious as the wind. My mother, brother, and myself sat in fetal position (all crying) huddeled in the innermost hallway in our house while awaiting what was almost certian to be our doom.

The winds were so strong that the door connecting our garage to our house kept getting sucked open, and my mother had all she could do to hold on to it to keep it shut. Then after what now seems like seconds but was probably a good 45 minutes later, it all subsided leaving a smattering of golf ball sized hail in our front yard (though none in our backyard) and a rainbow in the distance. The eye was passing over us like we were being watched by a merciful cyclops, and fortunately the "other side" of David had much less fury. We surrvived (and so did our house), but it was without a doubt the most terrifying event of my life."

--Lisa F.

"I was living in Greenacres city a suburb of West Palm Beach in 1979 when Hurricane David touched the coast. I was 13 years old and remember having to get plywood and nails for our duplex. We put them up and I was shocked of how dark it was with the windows covered like that. It was my first hurricane and I was nervous but very curious. My father left a small gap so we could look outside if we wished. During the height of the storm I remember looking outside through that and the rain was going sideways and the winds were whipping around the trees.

I don't remember being in the house for two many hours for that storm. Then it was over. I could say I experienced a hurricane well sort of since it only skirted the coast. I wouldn't know what a true hurricane was until Hurricane Andrew in 1992. After that it was my last hurricane. I still live in Florida as of now and whenever one of those storms looks like its going to be a possible direct hit where I live. I pack up and leave and go to another city not in the path of it.

This year (2004) alone I have dodged Frances and now Jeanne. My first Hurricane was David in 1979 and if I can help it Andrew in 1992 will be my last. Andrew was horrible to live thorough during and after."

--eightiesdude

"I married on September 1st 1979 and the next day flew to Florida for my honeymoon. When arriving in florida we were told that a bad hurricane was going to hit and we could not go to our Hotel in Palm Beach. We had to find a hotel and there was nothing available, we finally found a motel, which was close to where the hurricane was going to hit for 2 days we had no food and were terrified if we were going to die. Finally on Tuesday September 4th we were able to go to Palm Beach and start 0ur honeymoon after not eating for 3 days we were able to eat and enjoy the next 4 days before we head back home.

3 years later my daughter was born on September 4th, 1982 and we could not help but think about how we started our honeymoon. "

--Edo

"The exact days I dont remember, but the monster storm David, i will never forget.

Stationed aboard the USS FORREST SHERMAN (DD-931) in Charleston, S. C. The Commador made a decision to keep his ships double moored to the pier;and at the last moment told those who could get underway to put to sea, as we steamed out to sea the sky was black and the water rough the father out we went the rougher the seas became, we ended right smack dab in the middle of this storm,

The Captain and crew were at the mercey of the storm, there was little to no controll of the ship, as a damage controll specialist(HTCS)my primary responsibility was the safety of the crew and ship with 14 years experience I had seen rough seas before but what we ran into nothing could prepare you for, about 90% of the crew was sick and unable to function those on watch had to remain on watch because the reliefs couldnt get up, we battled the storm and got into the eye we followed the storm up the coast in the eye for three days , with satelite communications trying to figure the best coordinance to come out of the eye and hoping it would weaken, it was decided the back side was our best chanse , the next three days were like every ride at the circus all combined into one we were taking 45 degree rolles how we kept from sinking I dont know imagine a navy destroyer sitting balanced on the top of a 70 foot wave the bow out of the water and the stern out of the water the screws turning in mid air the rudders as well, imagine the wave dropping you 70 feet in a valley with a 70 foot wave in front and back of the ship and water coming down on you like a bass boat going under niagra falls and as you start to clime on top another 70 foot wave coming up like those submarines you have seen on tv then you list to port 45 degrees and just sit there and bounce, then you list to starbord 45 degrees and sit their and bounce, I had not slept in 2-1/2 days and rolled up a wool blanket for a pillow layed down in the chiefs quarters on a bench seet I just got my eyes closed when I was found my self in the air headed for the wall, getting my hands out just in time to hit the wall, I never went back to sleep the rest of that day and finally our 3 day roller coster ride was over, scared what do you think. "

--senior chief Evans

"Like Danny Chrystal, I was on board British destroyer HMS Fife when it was called to help out after Dominica was wrecked by Hurricane David. In fact, we followed the hurricane in. Our weather guys had been tracking the hurricane for a while, and when it became obvious that it was to hit the island, we were ordered in. From memory, we arrived the morning after. Approaching the island the previous evening and night was a truly awesome experience, and another post here describes what its like to be at sea in hurricane conditions. Taking a watch on the bridge was limited down to 15 minutes at one stage since it was rather like being in an elevator rapidly ascending and descending 30 stories a time. We were experiencing what the RN call ‘shipping greenies’.

That is when the bow of the ship (it was a destroyer, so not an insignificant size) comes off the top of one huge wave and plunges right through the next wave. I can tell you that there were times I thought it would never surface back again. When the island came into view at dawn, by which time the conditions had calmed somewhat, the site was very strange. All the trees on the hills (I think mainly banana) had been stripped of their leaves so it looked like a two day stubble on your chin. We docked at the only jetty left in the capital, Roseau, and the scene of devastation was tremendous.

It’s difficult to describe just how complete was the destruction. Almost every building had been damaged, if not flattened, in the city. The one or two survived near intact were those built from brick, but even with those, many had lost their roofs, including part of the hospital.

The biggest problem was that the airport was on the opposite side of the island from the capital (and largest centre of population) and the road connecting the two was impassable. So any airlifted aid was not able to reach the capital. So we had two tasks, help unblock that path so aid could reach those who needed it, and do what we could locally. Specifically our medical and engineering teams worked on getting the hospital back to working order. The helicopter crews worked round the clock trying to distribute aid to outlying areas. Since we were the only ship of size in the area (most had got out of the way, understandably) we did make one trip to pick up supplies from Barbados and arrived back within 24 hours. This was still before the land route was unblocked. The French army arrived in our absence and I think they took over the task of clearing that route.

The local people were great, shocked though they were. On my way back to the ship from the hospital in a battered pick-up truck which I had commandeered, I broke down. I was engulfed by a small crowd that appeared from nowhere (least, I couldn’t see from where since all the buildings around were completely destroyed). Everyone offered to help and eventually a mechanic (who told me he’d learnt his trade in London) fixed the motor. I was offered drink and food whilst waiting. It occurred to me that these people had absolutely nothing, knew I was on board a fully stocked ship yet still were prepared to offer what little they had - a truly humbling experience. I’d love to go back and visit one day."

--Richard J

"Although I was only 5 I remember it like it just happend yesterday. I was living in the Dominican Republic at the time. We were trying to weather the storm in my grandmothers house in the capital city Santo Domingo. My grand parents had a concrete home that could withstand the storm. What I still have nightmares about is when my father and one of my grandfathers workers went outside to secure the propane gas tanks that are use for cooking only my father came back in the house. Tito (the worker) was later found wrapped up in a tree that survided the storm almost a kilometer away. I remember my father holding the door open for Tito but he never came in. My father told Tito to secure himself to a rope but he refused and he said that he had survived Huricane San Senon when he was a child and David was not going to scare him. That night I remember a the loudest noise I had ever heard it sounded like some one had dropped a car right in front of our front lawn. Yes, a car was in front of the house, a VW beatle (cepillo like we call them (cepillo means 'brush' or 'ice shaver')). We had to go out he rear door of the house. I can still remember looking for Tito in the back yard and saying to my father "maybe he is in the casa de la sirvienta (maids house)" which was in the back of the house. To this day any time I meet some one by the name of David all those memories pass before my eyes."

--Anonymous

"I remember David very well. I was 7 years old at the time living in N. Charleston at the time. We lived a block from the back side of what used to Berry Elementry School. My father who was in the Navy was out to sea at that time. It was just my mother and me at the time. I remember the new saying it was going to bad. My mother told me that we would stick out as long we could since the school was the nearest shelter. We had our stuff packed just in cast.

Durning the first band as it begin to hit us we heard a loud boom on top our duplex that shook the whole duplex and another boom out in the backyard. We took off right there. We didn't even turn around to look. We had to drive to front of the school with rain so hard that visiabilty was almost none. We made it safe. Just as we settle into our given spot the power went out. We stayed the night and return home in the morning. We found part of our tree on the roof and another part on the ground in the backyard. Our neighbor across the steet had a metal clothes line pole with the concrete on the bottom go though his backseat carwindow. David was the worst hurricane I went though durning my 11 years in N. Charleston. Since then I have grown up and move to Illinios. The funny thing is my husband name is David."

--nuttymommy


 

DISASTER DETAILS

Hurricane David offshore of Jacksonville, Florida - 9/4/79.

Courtesy of NOAA

Date(s): August 30 - September 7, 1979

Location: Caribbean and Eastern U.S.

Deaths: 2000+

Injuries: 

Damage: $1.2B


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