clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Hurricane Florence Has Done Enormous Damage To North And South Carolina

And unfortunately it’s not done yet.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Carolinas’ Coast Line Recovers From Hurricane Florence, As Storm Continues To Pour Heavy Rain On The States
WILMINGTON, NC - SEPTEMBER 16: A local business is flooded on September 16, 2018 in Wilmington, North Carolina. Hurricane Florence hit Wilmington as a category 1 storm causing widespread damage and flooding across North Carolina.
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

To give you some perspective of how intense the storm has been in the Carolinas, the Raleigh area has gotten around six inches of rain from Hurricane/Tropical Storm Florence. Raleigh gets around 46-47 inches of rain per year so six in a few days is pretty heavy.

But when you look at six inches and think wow, that’s not too bad, that gives you some idea of what this storm has done.

Wilmington has had 20.7. An area just south had 24. The map has staggering numbers: 13.3, 14.7, 16.5, 17.5, 19.2, 20.1, 21.8, 22.8, 24.2. Swansboro, a lovely little town that sits right on the coast, has had 34.

625,000 people were without power.

Dams are at risk, with 167 seen as vulnerable. Several rivers are rising, some catastrophically. Take a look at this tool provided by the state. It’s pretty fascinating in some ways. You can click through and see the waters - not necessarily updated pictures but you can get a clear idea of what’s in trouble.

Take a look at Lumberton - you can get an idea of the overflow and it even puts a figure on some damages. Total so far: 945 buildings damaged for a total of $29,251,000.

Take a look at Kinston. One building - just one - has $1,040,339.

New Bern saw 4,200 houses and 300 commercial buildings damaged.

It’s sobering. People in the Triangle were incredibly lucky.

The property damage is one thing. Seventeen deaths is quite another, including at least two infants.

As of Saturday, ground transportation to and from Wilmington was cut off. Most of I-95 has been closed and I-40 in the eastern part of the state has also been closed (during Matthew, a huge part of 40-West simply washed away. There was a 40x20 crater right in the middle). An airlift is being organized to get basic supplies in.

The state issued a map with a detour forced by the flooding: if you want to go to from, say, Atlanta to D.C., the recommended route takes you through Knoxville and Roanoke. Travel time: 13 hours and 45 minutes. But given the traffic forced that way, it’s bound to be longer.

There was an amazing survival story in (we think) Pender County, where a woman drove into the water and her car was swept away. Somehow she managed to kick the window out - no easy feat in water - and swam out. She said the water took her about half mile before she could get her feet back on land but she did make it and when she was interviewed on TV, she seemed to be not just safe but amazingly relaxed about the whole business.

The floods will peak soon. People will be able to return home and start putting their lives back in order. Things will never be the same, but life goes on.

Many people still need help though. We’d like to ask you to help whenever and wherever possible. A lot of stores and banks are allowing you to do small donations and you can always donate to Any donations will be greatly appreciated by people who have seen their homes and lives devastated.


One small note. WRAL is a local institution and the station has always made community service a real point of pride. It’s a great news source and in particular the weather news is superb. Greg Fishel knows what he’s doing and he’s trained and mentored a remarkable staff. All those people know their business and we’re convinced that Fishel and his staff have saved a lot of lives.

WRAL is something Triangle natives can take great pride in.

Unfortunately the WRAL app basically sucks. About half the time it fails to load. It spins and spins and doesn’t load.

We have a world of respect for how hard WRAL works to get us news and especially weather news when things are scary. The app is a serious weak link and there are times when you have to rely on it. So why is the damned thing so unreliable?


One more small note. This picture is absolutely brilliant. And heartbreaking. We don’t know who took it but it’s going to become iconic.

If you're going to shop Amazon please start here and help DBR
Check out our October '17 t-shirt! || Drop us a line