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'The Perfect Storm' Appears On Big Screen As Well As Online

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RALEIGH — "The Perfect Storm"hits movie screens on Friday. The movie is based on the book about a fishing boat's real-life encounter with a monster storm off the New England coast, but there is also a North Carolina connection to the movie.

The storm began forming October 25, 1991. Hurricane winds and huge waves pounded the Gloucester, Massachusetts fishing fleet. The storm also knocked the fishing boat, Andrea Gail, to the bottom of the ocean.

Hurricane Grace was hundreds of miles off North Carolina. Three days later, the North Carolina coast was pounded by the northeaster known as the Halloween storm.

"The waves approached 50 feet on average," says NOAA Meteorologist Louis Uccellini. "There were probably individual waves, that is rogue waves, that approached 70, 80, 90 feet, maybe even 100 feet."

TheDiscovery Channel's Web siteoffers an interactive map showing progress of the storm and location of boats and ships. The coast was ravaged from Florida to Labrador.

Coast Guard helicopters from Elizabeth City, North Carolina plucked several people off boats off Virginia.

TheCoast Guard Web sitefeatures pictures of the rescue of the crew of the sailboat, Satori, off New England. The 200-foot cutter, Tamaroa, was tossed like a cork by the storm.

The six crew members of the Andrea Gail died when their boat went down. A few oil drums and other flotsam were the only trace of the boat.

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Tom Lawrence, Reporter
Gil Hollingsworth, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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