37-Remembering Hurricane Hazel

Jere Dennison

Nearly 50 years before Hurricane Isabel wrought her destruction on the Fishing Bay Yacht Club and its environs, Hurricane Hazel held the dubious reputation of being the “baddest” storm in our club’s history. On October 1954, 1954, Hazel made landfall on the North Carolina/South Carolina border with 110 mph winds with highest estimated gusts of 140-150 mph. With a remarkably similar track to Isabel, she spiraled north through central and southeast Virginia with devastating results to the Chesapeake Bay. Her destructive path took her all the way to Canada before she significantly diminished in intensity.

Thanks to Maria Tabb, a former member and mother to current member Mayo Tabb, we have some recently rediscovered photographs of Hazel’s effect on Fishing Bay. Her husband Cabell was an insurance broker and was anxious in the aftermath of the storm to make a photographic record of the damage sustained by the boats he insured for clubmembers.

There was one major difference between Hazel’s era and Isabel’s era. Back in the 1950s, some of the club yachts were on permanent moorings in Fishing Bay. Obviously, Fishing Bay could not offer the same protection as Jackson Creek and the moored boats were beached in the storm.

Hazel - Pier Damage on Fishing Bay - 1954

Pier Damage 1954.jpg

Hazel - Young Mayo with Father - 1954




Hazel - Sunken Skiff - 1954


Hazel - Spindrift Beached - 1954


Hazel - Shore Damage - 1954


Hazel - Sea Fever Beached - 1954


Hazel - Roof Damage -1954


Hazel - Ravaged FB Shoreline - 1954


Fishing Bay Yacht Club
Office Mail: Fishing Bay Yacht Club, 2711 Buford Road #309, Bon Air, 23235,
Clubhouse Address: 1525 Fishing Bay Road, Deltaville, VA 23043 (no mail delivery)

Phone Numbers: Club House 804-776-9636

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