Humberto has come back to life as a tropical storm over warmer waters out in the center of the Atlantic, and he’s still only a threat to shipping lanes. At the same time, our attention is on the horrible flooding in Colorado and all the damage there. Today is an anniversary of sorts for eastern North Carolina that is relatable to both weather stories in the news today: on this day in 1999, Hurricane Floyd hit NC.
Floyd came ashore in New Hanover County with a 10 foot storm surge and slowly trekked up the eastern side of our state, dumping as much as 20 inches of rain in areas near its landfall and again farther north near the Tar River. In between, Floyd didn’t really let up, still pouring 10-18 inches along the way.
Those amounts are enough to cause major flooding on their own, but many will remember that Floyd followed Hurricane Dennis, which already had soaked much of the same land and caused the rivers to swell. Floyd was a larger storm and moved slowly over an already rain-soaked area and managed to completely overcome small towns including the most widely known – Princeville, which was devastated.
Many have memories of Floyd that will never fade. Those memories help us to relate to the people who are suffering in Colorado today, and it’s easy to say that our hearts go out to them. If you want to help them in their recovery in the same way so many helped in eastern NC after Floyd, I personally suggest donating your time and/or money to a reputable organization such as the Red Cross among others.
Photo of exhibit at the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher displaying historic storm surges. Floyd's surge was about 10 feet above sea level.
Photo of flooding on Highway 64 near Princeville courtesy of the USGS.