August 6, 2008

Tis the Season for Hurricanes...Unfortunately

But hurricanes are a fact of life in Coastal Carolina. As long as one has made preparations and have an evacuation plan(if necessary) in place, the disruption of such storms can be reduced. And fortunately, from looking at today's Atlantic satellite picture, the Atlantic is looking fairly calm for this time of year.


But as SE Carolina's water temps inch towards the mid 80's (today @ 82), we need to be mindful that the peak of our hurricane season is right around the corner. With that in mind, here are some youtube videos of past storms that have impacted our area.

Hurricane Ophelia--September 14, 2005
Landfall Location
: Outer Banks (skirted SE NC coast)
Category: 1 (at landfall in Outer Banks.), (Wilmington
Wind Speed: 59 miles per hour (North Carolina), 78 miles per hour @ Kure Beach(Highest)
Total Dollar Damage: $70 million (North Carolina)
Deaths: 0 (North Carolina)
Special Details: Flash floods. Ophelia moved extremely slowly in and around North Carolina, causing the storm to drop more than 10 inches of rain on many coastal areas.



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Hurricane Irene--Mid October 1999


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Hurricane Floyd -- September 16, 1999
(NOTE: At 1:40 you'll see a perfect example of why you should never attempt to drive across a flooded roadway)
Landfall Location: Near Cape Fear, NC
Category: 2 (at landfall in N.C.), 4 (Highest)
Wind Speed: 62 miles per hour (North Carolina), 112 miles per hour @ Kure Beach(Highest)
Major Areas Affected: Nearly all of eastern NC experienced extreme flooding
Major Damage Types: Structural, agricultural, and environmental
Total Dollar Damage: $4 billion (North Carolina)
Deaths: 35 (North Carolina)
Injuries: Not available
Special Details: Flash floods and severe rainfall. In Wilmington, the storm total of 19.06 inches included a 24-hour record of 15.06 inches. Extensive flooding led to overflowing rivers; nearly every river basin in eastern North Carolina reached 500 year or greater flood levels.

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Hurricane Fran--September 5, 1996
Landfall Location: Near Cape Fear, North Carolina
Category: 3 (at landfall in N.C.), 3 (Highest)
Wind Speed: 115 miles per hour (North Carolina), 120 miles per hour (Highest)
Major Areas Affected: New Hanover, Brunswick, Onslow, Carteret, Pender Counties, and some eastern parts of North Carolina. Topsail Island received the worst damage.
Major Damage Types: Structural, agricultural, and environmental
Total Dollar Damage: $4 billion (North Carolina)
Deaths: 21 (North Carolina)
Injuries: Not available
Structural Damage: Many beach front homes completely destroyed
Special Details: Flash floods, severe storm surge, and severe rainfall. Many effects were felt as far inland as Raleigh, North Carolina. Oceanfront homes were destroyed by beach erosion and waves.



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Hurricane Bonnie--August 26, 1998
Landfall Location
: Cape Fear, North Carolina
Category: 2 (at landfall in N.C.), 3 (Highest)
Wind Speed: 110 miles per hour (North Carolina), 115 miles per hour (Highest)
Major Areas Affected: New Hanover County, Pender, and Onslow. Also other Coastal and eastern parts of North Carolina
Major Damage Types: Agricultural (tobacco crop was worst hit), and some structural
Total Dollar Damage: Between $1 and $2 billion (North Carolina)
Deaths: 1 (North Carolina)
Injuries: Not available
Structural Damage: Comparable to Hurricane Bertha
Special Details: Hurricane Bonnie pounded the coast of North Carolina for two days. The hurricane was the size of Texas. Hurricane force winds detected up to 115 miles outward and tropical storm force winds detected 230 miles from storm center. Torrential rains occurred. Flooding in New Hanover County was about 2 feet higher than Bertha and 2 feet lower than Fran.


[Information gathered from NOAA Coastal Services Center, Wikipedia, National Weather Forecast Service.]
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