The Preservation Society of Charleston, South Carolina reports from the South-Carolina Gazette, September 19, 1752 the following description: “The mid-September, 1752, cyclone was "the most violent and terrible hurricane that ever was felt in this province." Strong winds began the evening of September 14, becoming more violent as the storm blew closer. Rain sluiced down steadily through the early morning, and a terrifying night gave way to a horrifying day. The storm surge poured in about 9:00 AM, overflowing seawalls and creek beds. Before 11 o'clock, nearly all the vessels in Charleston Harbor were on shore, some driven into the marsh, some riding the flood to crash into wharves and buildings. A ship blew up Vanderhorst’s Creek as far as Meeting Street, carrying away a corner of the “new Baptist house” near the creek. Only the HMS Hornet, a fourteen-gun sloop of war, rode out the storm. Water had risen more than ten feet above the normal high-water mark, the sea covering the entire peninsula, and high tide was not expected for another two hours. With many houses flooded neck deep, panicked people fled to the upper floors and "contemplated a speedy termination of their lives." Their reprieve was deemed an act of Providence. The wind shifted, the tide ebbed, and the water flowed out as quickly as it had come in (the South-Carolina Gazette reported it fell five feet in ten minutes). By three o'clock Friday afternoon, September 15, the wind had died completely and the storm was gone. The hurricane "reduced this Town to a very melancholy situation." Although there are no accurate figures of the deaths or injuries, many drowned; others were killed or dangerously injured when houses fell apart. An estimated five hundred buildings were destroyed completely; broken chimneys, lost roofing tiles and slates, shattered windows, and dislodged foundations were universal. All the wharves and piers were smashed, every building upon them beaten down and carried away. Likewise, fortifications along the waterfront sustained heavy damage, most of their cannon dismounted. Granville's Bastion was "much shaken, the upper part of the wall beat in, the platform with the guns upon it floated partly over the wall." In the account just reported it can be concluded that the eye of the storm, mostly likely a hurricane can very close to Charleston. The rapid rise of the water pushed into the town from a storm surge near the storm’s center and then as the storm passed the wind shifted from the southeast off the ocean to the northwest and pushed the water out to sea rapidly are all indications of a direct hit by the eye of the storm. September 15, 1752 when one of the one of the first accounts of the direct hit of a hurricane was reported in North America.
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