We have had a lot of discussion over the past couple of months regarding the pending changes to the FEMA Flood Maps. Over the past few years I have been told all about the 1954 and 1938 hurricanes. However, recently Burt Derick told me that the 1944 hurricane was far worse. Below is a link to a story written by Nicole Muller in the Register back in 2008, before any discussions started about modifying flood zones. The recollections from Burt, Nancy Thacher Reid and Phyllis Horton provide a grim warning about what can happen to our area if a hurricane were to hit.

Weathering the hurricane of 1944

A few key passages:

Two factors combined to create devastation that wiped out electricity in Dennis for more than three weeks, destroyed bridges and downed trees, making travel impossible. It also demolished 230 homes and damaged another 3,898 buildings: the worst part of the storm, the northeast corner, hit the mid-Cape during high tide.

Dennis has far more homes and structures constructed in the area impacted by the 1944 hurricane today than was present when the area was struck.

Phyllis Horton, 16 at the time, says everyone was outdoors Friday morning, surveying the damage. “A wall of water had taken out the Lower County Road, Route 28 and Upper County Road bridges. Abandoned cars were in the roads. The roads were so flooded, you couldn’t tell the bridge was out until there was no road under your car.

“Lower County Road was under eight feet of water,”

Not much I can add to this discussion.


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