Fifty-one years ago, torrential rains pounded the southeastern United States, causing dams to give way, rivers to swell, and floods to destroy communities. Franklin was not spared from rains streaming from Hurricane Hilda, which wreaked havoc on the east coast in 1964 from Sept. 28 throughout the first week of October. The storm caused 38 deaths and did an estimated $126 million in damages.
In 2004, 40 years after Hurricane Hilda put Franklin underwater, Hurricane Ivan dumped almost 12 inches on Western North Carolina in a few hours causing catastrophic flooding and land slides resulting in four deaths. The 2004 rainfalls triggered the landslides that caused the Peeks Creek disaster.