VOICES Voices Icon Ideas and Insight From Explorers

Menu

Willie Drye

Willie Drye is an award-winning author and a contributing editor for National Geographic News. He and his wife live in North Carolina, dividing their time between Wilmington and Plymouth.

Florida Keys Museum Tells Story Of Wrecker’s Paradise

John Jacob Housman’s character was complex and colorful. He was an energetic entrepreneur, a shrewd businessman, a daring adventurer, a visionary developer, and it was all wrapped around the soul of a pirate. And in 1830, he found the perfect place to use these traits to his best advantage—Indian Key, a remote, tropical island in…

2017 Hurricane Season Expected To Be Active

Meteorologists at Colorado State University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration think the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season could be an active one. CSU forecasters think 14 named tropical storms will form in the Atlantic Basin, which includes the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. The NOAA forecast covers a wider range of…

CSU Forecasters See Signs of Below-Average Hurricane Season

Meteorologists at Colorado State University think an unusual El Niño event later this year could keep the 2017 Atlantic Basin hurricane season a little quieter than usual. CSU’s preseason forecast for the coming summer suggests that 11 named tropical storms will form in the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean between June 1…

Historic USS North Carolina, Saved Once By Schoolkids’ Nickels And Dimes, Being Rescued Again From Insidious Threat

The battleship USS North Carolina survived the savage combat of World War II and was snatched from the scrap heap in 1961 by a determined effort of her namesake state’s residents. Now, more than a half-century after the battleship was brought to Wilmington to become a war memorial and museum, North Carolina residents again are making a…

Residents Of Historic Windsor, NC Uneasy About Future After Frequent Flooding

A couple of weeks after Hurricane Matthew sent floodwaters spilling into some of eastern North Carolina’s historic river towns, an old friend of Cal Bryant, editor of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, stopped by his office in Ahoskie. His friend was from the nearby town of Windsor. The small, colonial-era town on the Cashie River had been…

Hurricane Matthew: The Timeline

Hurricane Matthew was one of the most destructive storms of recent years, killing more than 1,000 people during its savage trek from the Caribbean to Cape Hatteras. The hurricane’s storm surge and torrential rainfall caused severe flooding from Florida to North Carolina and inflicted damage in the US estimated by analysts at a minimum of…

Live-Blogging Hurricane Matthew

I’m the author of Storm of the Century: The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, published by National Geographic Books, and the IPPY Award-winning For Sale-American Paradise: How Americans Were Sold An Impossible Dream In Florida. I’ve also been writing about hurricanes for National Geographic News since 2003. 10-10-2016 I’ve been blogging about Hurricane Matthew’s rampage…

Florida Prepares For Worst Hurricane In Decades; 10 Million Could Lose Power In Southeast

Residents along a 350-mile stretch of Florida coastline from Miami to Jacksonville are preparing for a brutal beating from powerful Hurricane Matthew as the strengthening storm barrelled northward Thursday after pounding the Caribbean and Bahamas with devastating winds. The hurricane is expected to be one of the most powerful to strike Florida in decades. Its…

Islanders Trying To Save Ancestors’ Eternal Resting Place

Residents of North Carolina’s slender, sandy Outer Banks have been wrestling with the sea for centuries. And they know that the sea–the Atlantic Ocean to the east and large sounds to the west–eventually gets its way. About the best they can usually hope for is figuring out a way to accommodate the inevitable. Sometimes, however,…

Recent Books Recount Horror of 1928 Lake Okeechobee Hurricane (Part 2)

Eighty-eight years ago, a savage hurricane tore across the Caribbean, killing thousands. Its winds probably reached 160 mph at times. The storm turned and crossed the Bahamas before smashing ashore at West Palm Beach, Florida on September 16-17, 1928. It tore across the Everglades to giant, shallow Lake Okeechobee, where uncounted thousands of migrant workers…

Recent Books Recount Horror of 1928 Lake Okeechobee Hurricane

Eighty-eight years ago, a savage hurricane tore across the Caribbean, killing thousands. Its winds probably reached 160 mph at times. The storm turned and crossed the Bahamas before smashing ashore at West Palm Beach, Florida on September 16-17, 1928. It tore across the Everglades to giant, shallow Lake Okeechobee, where uncounted thousands of migrant workers…

Will U.S. Luck Hold During Peak of Hurricane Season?

Although dozens of powerful hurricanes have formed in the Atlantic Basin during the past decade, the last time a major hurricane with winds exceeding 110 mph struck US shores was when George W. Bush was president during the stormy summer of 2005. So as we head into the time of year that author Ernest Hemingway…

Big Black Bears Celebrated in Big Way in Washington County, North Carolina

On a recent spring morning, photographer Doward Jones and a friend were looking for photo opportunities in the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge near Plymouth, North Carolina. As they cruised through the refuge in an SUV, they spotted a black bear helping himself to wheat in a farmer’s field. The young male bear was enjoying…

Uncertainties Cloud Forecast For 2016 Hurricane Season

Meteorologists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration think as many as 16 named tropical storms could form in the Atlantic Basin—which includes the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean—during the 2016 hurricane season, which begins June 1. A summer that produced 16 named storms would be well above the dozen storms that…

William Gray, 86, Pioneer Of Hurricane Meteorology

Pioneering meteorologist William Gray, who devised seasonal forecasting for hurricane activity, died earlier today surrounded by his family in Fort Collins, Colorado. He was 86. His death was announced by the Colorado State University News Service, but word of his passing was posted on Facebook before the university’s official announcement. Gray joined the CSU faculty…