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Hurricane Florence Recap
Summary: Hurricane Florence will go down in history as the wettest tropical cyclone on record for the Carolinas. The storm originated as a tropical disturbance off the west coast of Africa on August 30th. Florence traversed the Atlantic Ocean for more than two weeks and made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, NC as a category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph. After making landfall, the storm slowed down substantially and remained over the Carolinas for several days. This led to record breaking rainfall and catastrophic flooding.

Track History for Hurricane Florence


Winds: Florence peaked as a category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 140 mph four days prior to making landfall. The storm gradually weakened over the next several days as it approached the Carolinas. The strongest winds on land were recorded across the southern portion of coastal NC. The maximum recorded wind gust was 106 mph at Cape Lookout. A 105 mph gust was reported in Wilmington, which is the highest reading for that location in 60 years. The winds were not quite as severe in SC where peak gusts maxed out at tropical storm force. 
Sustained Wind History for Hurricane Florence
 
Storm Surge: There were reports of severe storm surge flooding in NC. A maximum height of 10 feet above normal was recorded at two locations on the Neuse River. Extensive storm surge flooding occurred in the city of New Bern. Tidal flooding was reported as far north as the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River in Virginia and Maryland.
 
Rainfall: Florence’s slow motion led to record breaking rainfall amounts for the Carolinas. The highest recorded total was 36 inches near Elizabethtown, NC. The highest total in SC was 24 inches in Loris. Extensive flooding continues in both states. Floodwaters have rendered many communities inaccessible including the city of Wilmington. Some river levels have risen so high that the recording gauges were washed away. Although Florence has moved away from the Carolinas, catastrophic flooding will continue for several days.
 
Observed Precipitation from Hurricane Florence

Visible Satellite Image of Florence Making Landfall on Friday, September 14th
Author: Kevin Sharp
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