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Barry Continues to Weaken and Move Northward; Heavy Rainfall and Flooding Still a Threat

Barry continues to steadily weaken as it moves northward across the Mississippi Valley. Despite the weakening, the system continues to produce very heavy rainfall across this region, with the threat for significant flash flooding in some areas. In Barry's wake, a widespread heat wave is forecast to develop across the Central and Eastern states by mid to late week. Read More >

Hurricane Florence one-minute pressure and wind gust data from Wilmington, NC.  Peak wind gust was 105 mph and lowest pressure was 28.52 inches Hg (965.5 millibars) Hurricane Florence one-minute pressure and wind gust data from Wilmington, NC.  Peak wind gust at the ILM airport was 105 mph and lowest pressure was 28.51 inches of mercury or 965.5 millibars. (credit: NWS/Tim Armstrong)

Hurricane Florence, a large and slow moving category one hurricane, made landfall during the morning of September 14, 2018.  After the eye crossed Wrightsville Beach, NC at 7:15 a.m. the storm spent the next two days producing record-breaking rainfall across eastern North Carolina and a portion of northeastern South Carolina.  Over 30 inches of rain were measured in a few North Carolina locations, exceeding the highest single-storm rainfall amounts ever seen in this portion of the state.  A station in Loris, SC recorded 23.63 inches rain, setting a new state tropical cyclone rainfall record for the state of South Carolina. 

Record river flooding developed over the next several days along the Cape Fear, Northeast Cape Fear, Lumberton, and Waccamaw Rivers, destroying roads and damaging thousands of homes and businesses.  A USGS report indicated nine river gauges reported floods exceeding their 1-in-500 year expected return intervals.  Although Florence will be remembered primarily for its record-breaking flooding, wind gusts over 100 mph caused significant damage to buildings, trees, and electrical service across the Cape Fear area, and a storm surge of over four feet eroded beaches and damaged property between Cape Fear and Cape Lookout. 

The state of North Carolina reported 42 fatalities due to the hurricane and preliminary damage estimates of $16.7 billion.  An estimated 74,563 structures were flooded and 5,214 people were reportedly rescued from flooding.  Nearly 140,000 North Carolinians registered for disaster assistance after the storm.  South Carolina Emergency Management reported 9 fatalities across the state; $607 million damage; 11,386 homes with moderate or major damage; 455,000 people evacuated, and 11 dams breached or failed.

Meteorological History

A tropical depression developed during the afternoon of August 31 just southwest of the Cape Verde islands.  Becoming better organized, Tropical Storm Florence developed during the early morning of September 1.  Florence strengthened into a hurricane, then a major hurricane, while moving northwestward across the open Atlantic Ocean.  Winds peaked at 130 mph on September 5th before increasing southwesterly wind shear disrupted the storm's organization. Florence weakened to a 60-mph tropical storm on September 7th while over the central Atlantic 1300 miles southeast of Bermuda. 

Due to lessening wind shear and warmer ocean water temperatures, Florence regained hurricane strength on Sunday, September 9th about 750 miles southeast of Bermuda.  The hurricane strengthened rapidly on Monday, September 10th with winds increasing to 140 mph.  Florence maintained winds of 130-140 mph through Tuesday September 11th, but began to weaken during the afternoon of Tuesday September 12th due to increasing wind shear and several pulses of dry air pulled into the inner core of the storm.  Atmospheric conditions never improved significantly, and Florence continued to slowly weaken as it approached the North Carolina coast and made landfall near Wrightsville Beach during the morning of Friday September 14th with maximum sustained winds near 90 mph.

After landfall, Florence's winds steadily weakened as it moved farther inland across South Carolina.  However torrential rain continued to fall for days, causing historic flooding across large portions of eastern North Carolina and some areas in South Carolina.  Many areas damaged heavily by flooding during Hurricane Matthew in 2016 were devastated once again during Florence.  Tornadoes also developed within the stronger rain bands; dozens of tornado touchdowns were confirmed by NWS Storm Survey crews. 

Hurricane Florence infrared satellite loop at landfall

Infrared satellite loop of Hurricane Florence making landfall in southeastern North Carolina.  Orange and red colors indicate cold clouds tops from deep convection near the center of the storm.  Loop runs from the early morning of September 13 through the afternoon of September 14, 2018

Hurricane Florence composite radar loop at landfall

Composite radar loop of Hurricane Florence making landfall.  Although the general motion of the storm was toward the west, note the pronounced southward wobble that happened at landfall.  Loop runs from the late afternoon of September 13 through late afternoon of September 14, 2018

Hurricane Florence made a southward jog across New Hanover and eastern Brunswick counties at landfall, then returned to a westward course.

Hurricane Florence made a sudden southward jog at landfall across southern New Hanover and eastern Brunswick counties.  The storm then resumed a westward course across Brunswick county and into South Carolina.  This radar loop shows runs from 6:43 am until 11:15 am on September 14, 2018 and shows the apparent circulation center location marked with a white "X" at 15 minute intervals.

Multi-sensor rainfall estimates from Hurricane Florence, produced by National Weather Service Eastern Region Headquarters.

Multi-sensor rainfall estimates from Hurricane Florence, produced by National Weather Service Eastern Region Headquarters.

Location Rainfall Total   Location Rainfall Total
6.2 miles NW Elizabethtown, NC 35.93"   Bennettsville, SC 18.05"
3.7 miles S Wilmington, NC 30.10"   Watha, NC 17.49"
4.1 miles WNW Hampstead, NC 29.52"   Lumberton, NC 17.49"
Sunny Point Military Terminal, NC 27.44"   Gallivants Ferry, SC 17.01"
Green Swamp/Nature Conservancy, NC 27.40"   3 miles N Lumberton, NC 16.11"
0.8 miles E Smith Creek, NC 27.20"   Marion, SC 15.79"
0.9 miles ENE Oak Island, NC 26.98"   2.6 miles N Pawleys Island, SC 15.75"
7.3 miles NE Wilmington, NC 26.58"   8.4 miles WNW Myrtle Beach, SC 15.41"
6.1 miles NW Whiteville, NC 25.91"   Whiteville, NC 15.38"
Turnbull Creek/Bladen Lakes State Park, NC 23.67"   7 miles SE Hemingway, SC 15.26"
2.9 miles WSW Loris, SC 23.63"   2 miles SW Pawleys Island, SC 14.41"
7.8 miles SW Bolivia, NC 23.33"   Blenheim, SC 14.38"
1.4 miles ENE Loris, SC 23.18"   Bald Head Island, NC 12.17"
Wilmington International Airport, NC 23.02"   Soules Swamp/Whiteville, NC 11.50"
2.3 miles NE Lumberton, NC 22.76"   Conway, SC 11.43"
Whiteville, NC 22.58"   3 miles NE Socastee, SC 11.11"
Caswell Beach, NC 22.57"   6.0 miles S Georgetown, SC 11.08"
Cape Fear Lock & Dam #1 near E. Arcadia, NC 22.21"   Hartsville, SC 11.02"
0.2 miles SSW Yaupon Beach, NC 22.07"   Darlington, SC 11.02"
4 miles E Burgaw, NC 22.06"   6.2 miles E Conway, SC 9.63"
Back Island/Holly Shelter Swamp, NC 20.87"   Myrtle Beach International Airport, SC 9.50"
3.0 miles SE Wilmington, NC 20.11"   Hemingway, SC 9.32"
Marion, SC 19.56"   Bennettsville, SC 9.08"
8.6 miles SSE Lumberton, NC 18.51"   Georgetown, SC 8.55"
3.8 miles NW Dillon, SC 18.38"   Florence, SC 7.62"

* A newspaper report claimed 36" fell in Southport, NC at a fire department.  Although radar data suggests exceptional rain fell across this area, insufficient evidence has been collected so far to verify this report.

 

Peak Wind Gusts (mph) observed during Hurricane Florence

Map of peak wind gusts observed during Hurricane Florence on September 14, 2018

Map of peak wind gusts (mph) observed during Hurricane Florence on September 14, 2018.  NHC hourly position updates are also shown.  Isopleths indicate the highest observed wind gusts in open locations like airports, parks, and farms.

Location Max Wind Gust (mph)   Location Max Wind Gust (mph)
Wilmington, NC (airport) 105   Sunny Point, NC (RAWS station) 70
Cape Fear Comm. College, Wilmington 100   Lumberton, NC (airport) 69
Federal Point, NC 99   Ocean Isle Beach, NC 68
Hampstead, NC (EMS/Fire station) 92   Tabor City, NC 66
Wrightsville Beach, NC (J. Mercer Pier) 86   Bald Head Island, NC (NC ECOnet) 66
I-140 near Cape Fear River, NC 84   Fayetteville, NC (airport) 65
Currie, NC 82   Fort Bragg, NC 62
Hampstead, NC (Kiwanis Park) 78   Myrtle Beach, SC (airport) 61
Fort Fisher, NC 78   Marion, SC 61
Holly Ridge, NC 77   Florence, SC (airport) 61
Cherry Grove Beach, SC 77   North Myrtle Beach, SC (airport) 60
Myrtle Grove, NC 76   Chadbourn, NC 60
Castle Hayne, NC 73   Murrells Inlet, SC 59
Oak Island, NC 72   Whiteville, NC 56
Leland, NC 70   Elizabethtown, NC 48

* Newspaper reports claim an anemometer on the roof of the Emergency Operations Center in Southport, NC recorded a gust to 105 mph.  The highest wind gust on land associated with Hurricane Florence occurred at Cape Lookout, NC: 106 mph.

 

Lowest Barometric Pressure (millbars) observed during Hurricane FlorenceMap of lowest obseved barometric pressure readings (sea level pressure) during Hurricane Florence

Lowest barometric pressure observed during Hurricane Florence on September 14-15, 2018

Location Lowest Pressure   Location Lowest Pressure
Wrightsville Beach, NC (USGS gauge) 958.3 mb, 28.30 in. Hg   Caswell Beach, NC (mesonet) 972.6 mb, 28.72 in. Hg
Federal Point, NC (Weatherflow sensor) 959.0 mb, 28.32 in. Hg   Bald Head Island, NC (NC ECOnet) 974.9 mb, 28.79 in. Hg
Myrtle Grove, NC (Veterans Park, Texas Tech Sticknet) 959.0 mb, 28.32 in. Hg   Tabor City, NC (Texas Tech Sticknet) 977.4 mb, 28.86 in. Hg
Wrightsville Beach, NC (Storm chaser Sean Waugh) 959.0 mb, 28.32 in. Hg   North Myrtle Beach, SC (airport) 978.7 mb, 28.90 in. Hg
Wrightsville Beach, NC (J. Mercer Pier) 959.3 mb, 28.32 in. Hg   Burgaw, NC (mesonet) 979.0 mb, 28.91 in. Hg
Hampstead, NC (Texas Tech Sticknet) 960.3 mb, 28.36 in. Hg   Watha, NC (mesonet) 982.7 mb, 29.02 in. Hg
Masonboro Island, NC (NERRS) 960.7 mb, 28.37 in. Hg   Conway, NC (airport) 983.7 mb, 29.05 in. Hg
Wilmington, NC (Kings Grant neighborhood) 962.0 mb, 28.41 in. Hg   Myrtle Beach, SC (airport) 983.9 mb, 29.05 in. Hg
Boiling Spring Lakes, NC (South Brunswick Middle School, Texas Tech Sticknet) 962.4 mb, 28.42 in. Hg   Whiteville, NC (NC ECOnet) 985.1 mb, 29.09 in. Hg
Bolivia, NC (mesonet) 962.4 mb, 28.42 in. Hg   Elizabethtown, NC (airport, Texas Tech Sticknet) 985.3 mb, 29.10 in. Hg
Winnabow, NC (Texas Tech Sticknet) 965.1 mb, 28.50 in. Hg   Lumberton, NC (mesonet) 990.5 mb, 29.25 in. Hg
Wilmington, NC (airport*) 965.5 mb, 28.51 in. Hg   Florence, SC (airport) 995.5 mb, 29.40 in. Hg
Oak Island, NC (Weatherflow) 967.0 mb, 28.56 in. Hg   Darlington, SC (mesonet) 998.3 mb, 29.48 in. Hg
Castle Hayne, NC (Texas Tech Sticknet) 968.6 mb, 28.60 in. Hg   Blemheim, SC (mesonet) 999.7 mb, 29.52 in. Hg

* The pressure of 965.5 mb at the Wilmington International Airport was the fourth lowest pressure ever measured locally.

Hurricane Florence pressure traces from four stations in the Cape Fear area

Barometric pressure traces from four weather stations in the Cape Fear area during Hurricane Florence on September 14, 2018.  All stations observed a double bottom in pressure: one around 1200 UTC (8:00 a.m. EDT) around landfall, then a second dip three hours later as the storm's center wobbled back to the north.  Stations include NOAA NOS Downtown Wilmington, NC (top-left); NC ECONET station in Castle Hayne, NC (top-right); Volunteer mesonet station near Monkey Junction south of Wilmington, NC (bottom-left); Volunteer mesonet station in the Brunswick Forest neighborhood in Leland, NC. (bottom-right)  Note: the Monkey Junction station has a large, uncorrected negative bias in observed pressure but this does not change the shape or relative magnitude of the pressure trace.

 

Confirmed Tornado Touchdowns during Hurricane Florence

Map of confirmed tornado touchdowns across the NWS ILM forecast area during Hurricane Florence

(DIST)CITY/TOWN              COUNTY           DATE/          EF SCALE 
LAT LON                                       TIME(EDT)     
                                                          
---------------------------------------------------------------------
1 mile SSW BAYSHORE          NEW HANOVER NC   16th @ 12:02 am     EF0   
34.27  -77.80

A brief tornado touched down on the south side of Biscayne Drive at
Pages Creek. The tornado moved northwest for about 2 minutes and
snapped a couple dozen trees up to 14" in diameter, uprooted several
large trees, and caused significant roof damage to a home on
Biscayne Drive. It touched down again on the west side of Market
Street (US Hwy 17) near the intersection of Yvonne Road and
Jacqueline Drive. In a wooded area near the Cedarbrook Arabians
Horse Training Facility several pine trees up to 14 inches in
diameter were snapped or uprooted along both sides of Yvonne Drive.
Path width was 50 yards, path length 1.3 miles, winds 85 mph, no
injuries or fatalities.  

1 mile NE BAYSHORE           NEW HANOVER NC   15th @ 9:29 pm      EF0   
34.29  -77.78

A brief tornado touched down on the north side of Porters Neck
Road between Porters Neck Road and Tibbys Drive. The tornado moved
northwest for less than 2 minutes and snapped a couple dozen trees
up to 16" in diameter and uprooted a few large trees. Path width 50
yards, path length 0.25 miles, winds 85 mph, no injuries or
fatalities.

2 miles NNE MYRTLE BEACH     HORRY SC         16th @ 12:17 pm     EF0   
33.72  -78.88

The tornado was shown live by a local television station as viewed
from their skycam. It caused minor damage to the tops of pine trees,
breaking numerous limbs before it crossed Highway 17 moving west.
Additional minor tree damage occurred on the west side of Highway 17
before the fast moving tornado lifted. Path width 30 yards, path
length 0.5 miles, winds 70 mph, no injuries or fatalities. 


1 mile WSW SIDNEY            COLUMBUS NC      16th @ 10:38 pm     EF1   
34.18  -78.81

The tornado began near the intersection of Highway 701 and Spivey
Ward Drive. About a dozen small trees around a pond were broken off
and blown into the pond, and a metal carport was lifted and blown
onto a dock. Minor damage occurred to a few mobile homes on Spivey
Ward Drive, including part of a roof which was blown 30 yards and
suspended in a tree. The tornado moved northeastward causing minor
damage to the roofs and fascia of two homes, before reaching its
maximum intensity in a stand of trees immediately northeast of the
homes. Approximately 40 pine trees up to 18 inches in diameter were
snapped off, and about a dozen large hardwoods were broken or
uprooted. The metal roof of a wood-framed carport was also ripped
off and blown over a barn. The tornado caused additional minor
damage to nearby trees and peeled a portion of metal roofing off of
a welding shop as it lifted. Some peripheral damage occurred to
trees and a wooden shed on the west side of Highway 701. Path width
100 yards, path length 0.25 miles, winds 105 mph, no injuries or
fatalities.

4 miles ESE GORETOWN         HORRY SC         16th @ 9:22 pm    EF0   
34.01  -78.76

The tornado touched down six miles north-northwest of Longs causing
spotty damage to pine trees and damage to a roof. 

2 miles S SILVER LAKE        NEW HANOVER NC   16th @ 12:48 am   EF1   
34.12  -77.92

A tornado touched down in the Elliot Place neighborhood on River
Vista Drive, snapping approximately 15-20 hardwood trees up to 18"
in diameter. The tornado moved northwest and across the Cape Fear
River. It caused minor tree damage, breaking a few limbs as it
lifted near NC Hwy 133 near Pleasant Oaks Plantation Road. Path
width 50 yards, path length 4.4 miles, estimated wind speed 95 mph.
No injuries or fatalities. 

1 mile ENE SILVER LAKE       NEW HANOVER NC   16th @ 1:51 am    EF0   
34.15  -77.90

A tornado with estimated 75 mph winds touched down on Split Rail
Drive. Limbs were broken from the tops of 12 pine trees. One vehicle
was damaged.  

5 miles WSW RAEMON           ROBESON NC       16th @ 3:35 am    EF0   
34.62  -79.43

A law enforcement officer saw a tornado touchdown in an open field
near Gaddy's Mill Road approximately 9 miles south-southwest of
Maxton. 

1 mile NW ATKINSON           PENDER NC        15th @ 10:41 pm   EF1   
34.52  -78.17

A tornado touched down on the east side of Beattys Bridge Road about
0.3 miles southeast of the intersection with Slocum Trail, breaking
numerous small limbs out of a few trees in the front yard of a
residence. Additionally, the roof of a camper, which was parked in
the yard, was blown off. The tornado lifted and touched down again
as it crossed over a cemetery at the intersection of Slocum Trail
and Beattys Bridge Road. It passed directly over a mobile home which
was occupied at the time. The tie-down straps broke, and the mobile
home briefly lifted a few inches off the ground as the tornado
passed over. A shed on the property was destroyed and debris was
recovered nearly one-quarter mile away. In the woods immediately
west of the mobile home, a few dozen hardwood trees up to 16" in
diameter were snapped. Path width 50 yards, path length 0.4 miles,
Winds 90 mph. No injuries or fatalities. 

1 mile SSE HAMPSTEAD         PENDER NC       15th @ 11:45 am    EF0   
34.35  -77.71

Tornado damage was observed in a half-mile path starting in the
woods southeast of Great Oak Drive in the Deerfield Community in
Hampstead, NC. The EF-0 tornado moved across Great Oak Drive to East
Creek View Drive before it lifted over a tidal creek located
northwest of East Creek View Drive. The tornado mainly snapped trees
as it moved quickly toward the northwest. It flipped a boat onto a
car along East Creek View Drive and damaged a detached garage.
Before the tornado lifted it flipped a boat dock on the tidal creek.  

1 mile ENE FLOYDALE          DILLON SC       16th @ 12:26 pm    EF0   
34.33  -79.32

A weak tornado touched down south of Lester Road between the Little
Pee Dee river and Riverview Loop. It crossed Lester Road moving
north, and broke large limbs out of several trees. A few small pine
trees were also broken off and knocked across the road. Path width
30 yards, path length 0.25 miles, winds 75 mph, no injuries or
fatalities. 

2 miles E DILLON             DILLON SC       16th @ 3:48 pm     EF0   
34.43  -79.34

A tornado touched down near State Road 17-198 (W Country Club Rd) just
South of Vicksburg Drive, and skipped north along the east side of
West Country Club Road. Several large limbs were were broken out of
tree tops, along with a few snapped small pine trees and hardwoods.
Additional minor tree damage was observed on the east side of Oscar
Drive to near the intersection with Harlees Bridge Road, where
several limbs were broken from the tops of oak trees. Path width 30
yards, path length 2.5 miles. No injuries or fatalities. 

4 miles NE ROWLAND          ROBESON NC       16th @ 4:29 pm     EF0   
34.53  -79.29

A tornado touched down south of State Road 1134 (Kitchen rd) and moved
north, breaking limbs from a few tree tops before crossing an open
field. A stand of half a dozen large oak trees on the north side of
Kitchen Rd sustained significant damage, with numerous large limbs
broken out. One large oak broke off near ground level. The tornado
continued north across an open field, then broke limbs out of the
tops of trees before lifting. Path width 50 yards, path length 0.25
Miles. No injuries or fatalities.

2 miles WNW SOUTH OF THE BORDER  DILLON SC   16th @ 5:59 pm      EF0   
34.50  -79.35

A tornado about two miles west-northwest of "South of the Border"
broke large limbs out of the tops of trees on the east side of Blue
Moon Drive. It moved north across an open field, then broke
additional limbs from trees before crossing Harlees Bridge Road.
Several small pine trees were snapped along the north side of
Harlees Bridge Road. Path width 30 yards, path length 0.7 miles,
Wind speed 75 mph. No injuries or fatalities. 

MURRAYSVILLE                 NEW HANOVER NC  15th @ 7:16 pm      EF1   
34.29  -77.83

An EF-1 tornado struck the Brittany Lakes neighborhood. The tornado
initially formed near Dove Field Ct and Brittany Lakes Rd. It moved
into a wooded area causing dozens of trees to snap or become
uprooted. Several of the trees were blown down onto homes on the
north side of Brittany Lakes Rd. The tornado moved toward the
west-northwest, passing just south of the west end of Quail Woods
Rd. The tornado caused additional tree damage just north of Creek
Ridge Rd and lifted near Brittany Rd. Path width 50 yards, path
length 0.6 miles, wind speed 95 mph. No injuries or fatalities.

WILMINGTON                   NEW HANOVER NC   16th @ 12:42 am    EF1   
34.21  -77.90

A tornado touched down near the intersection of Floral Parkway and
Park Avenue, causing minor tree damage as it moved quickly
northwest. Damage became more severe as the tornado passed east and
north of Empie Park, where a few pine trees up to 18 inches in
diameter were snapped, and numerous large limbs broken. A nearly
continuous path of tree damage was observed as the tornado continued
northwest across the Forest Hills community and 23rd Street between
Market Street and Princess Place Drive. This area also received
significant tree damage in the eyewall of hurricane Florence,
however the path of the tornado was discernible by observing damage
limited primarily to broken and twisted limbs among tree tops. The
heavy damage to large oak trees in Forest Hills and on 23rd Street
was apparently a result of the hurricane, and not the tornado. The
tornado moved northwest, crossing Princess Place Drive and snapping
several trees up to 10 inches in diameter, along with numerous limbs
along 21st street and the intersection with Klein Road. The tornado
broke large limbs from a few trees along Wynnwood Street in the Love
Grove community before lifting. Path width 50 yards, path length 3.0
Miles, wind speed 95 mph. No injuries or fatalities. 

3 miles NE WRIGHTSBORO       NEW HANOVER NC    16th @ 12:09 am   EF0   
34.31  -77.88

An EF-1 tornado touched down briefly along Blue Clay Road north of
its intersection with Interstate 140 and west of North College Rd.
Several hardwood trees up to 10 inches in diameter were snapped off
approximately 15 feet above the ground. Path length 0.25 miles,
Estimated winds 80 mph. No injuries or fatalities. 

 

Storm Impacts across southeastern North Carolina

PENDER COUNTY... The worst flooding event in local history occurred during and after Hurricane Florence. Widespread flash flooding on September 14 and 15 closed many roads and inundated neighborhoods. Emergency Management reported 350 rescues during this initial flash flooding. This flooding subsided, however record river flooding developed over the next week, inundating many homes and businesses outside of the 500-year floodplain with 3 to 4 feet of water. Over a thousand people had to be rescued by boat, helicopter, or humvees across the county. On the Northeast Cape Fear River the gauge at Burgaw reached 25.58 feet Early on September 19th, exceeding the crest from Hurricane Floyd (1999) by over three feet. An October 3rd update from Pender County Emergency Management indicated there were 3882 flood-damaged Structures across the county, including 96 completely destroyed. Interstate 40 was closed for several days, and NC highway 53 was covered with seven feet of water. High water levels in the Cape Fear River backed up the Black River and Moores Creek, leading to exceptional flooding in the Currie and Canetuck communities. At Moores Creek National Battlefield water was reported to have reached 2 to 3 feet higher than during Hurricanes Floyd and Matthew. The town of Atkinson was isolated from the world by high water. U.S. Highway 421 near the New Hanover County line was washed out over a 300 foot expanse as the Cape Fear River flowed across the highway Into the Northeast Cape Fear River.  A 71 year old man drove into floodwaters on Highway 210 at Merrick's Creek and died on September 16th.

High winds caused significant damage to trees and power lines, and blew down a number of fences. County estimates were that 600,000 cubic yards of tree debris plus 81,000 cubic yards of home debris had been picked up.  A gas station in Burgaw suffered major wind damage with the awning and the gas pumps themselves pushed over. Around 97 percent of customers were without power across Pender County. On September 17, a 71 year old man died when he drove into floodwaters on NC highway 210 at Merrick's Creek.  In Surf City dunes were destroyed and much sand was removed from the beach, deposited up to four feet deep over two blocks inland. On North shore drive at the north end of Surf City, erosion was severe and some homes were filled four to five feet deep of sand. At least 75 percent of homes suffered some damage, but reports from Surf City indicate only 20 homes suffered severe damage. Approximately 150 feet at the end of the Surf City Ocean Pier was torn off. Many homes had damage to roofs and siding on Topsail Island, and commercial power was completely disrupted to the island.

At the end of November, Pender County Emergency Management provided estimates of $268 million damage across the county to residential and commercial structures. 

 

Washout on NC Highway 210 at Moore's Creek

Washout on NC Highway 210 at Moore's Creek. Photo credit: Carl Morgan/NWS)

Flooding along Holly Shelter Road near the Island Creek bridge

Flooding along Island Creek Road near the Pender/New Hanover county line. Island Creek, a tributary of the Northeast Cape Fear River, was responsible for this flooding. (Photo Credit: Terry Lebo/NWS)

Severe flooding in the Cross Creek neighborhood.  Harrison Creek, a tributary of the Northeast Cape Fear River, flows near this area.

Severe flooding in the Cross Creek neighborhood.  Harrison Creek, a tributary of the Northeast Cape Fear River, flows near this area.  (Photo Credit: Carl Morgan/NWS)

Highway 53 was scoured out by flowing water.  This photo was from 3 miles west of Maple Hill.

A portion of NC Highway 53 was scoured out by flowing water.  This photo was taken approximately 3 miles west of Maple Hill. (Photo credit: Carl Morgan/NWS)

Flooding from the Northeast Cape Fear River along Castle Hayne Road just north of the Pender/New Hanover County line

Flooding from the Northeast Cape Fear River along Castle Hayne Road just north of the Pender/New Hanover County line. (Photo credit: Carl Morgan/NWS)

Flooding at Battleground Rd and Slocum Trail near Moores Creek in Currie, Pender County, NC

Flooding at Battleground Rd and Slocum Trail near Moores Creek in Currie. (Photo credit: Carl Morgan/NWS)

Damage to the beach at Surf City viewed from Beach Access #20. Debris like this was common along most North Carolina beaches after Hurricane Florence. (Photo credit: Carl Morgan/NWS)

Damage to the beach at Surf City viewed from Public Beach Access #20. Debris like this was common along most southern North Carolina beaches after Hurricane Florence. (Photo credit: Carl Morgan/NWS)

Many homes suffered roof damage, allowing the 15 to 25 inches of rain that fell to destroy the homes' interiors.  Piles of molded and water damaged items were a common sight for weeks after the storm. (Photo credit: Carl Morgan/NWS)

Many homes suffered roof damage, allowing the 15 to 25 inches of rain that fell to destroy the homes' interiors.  Piles of molded and water damaged items were a common sight for weeks after the storm. (Photo credit: Carl Morgan/NWS)

Florence's storm surge covered roads in sand, while the wind damaged siding and roofs. (Photo credit: Carl Morgan/NWS)

Florence's storm surge covered roads in sand, while its wind damaged siding and roofs. (Photo credit: Carl Morgan/NWS)

The storm surge destroyed the lower floor of this Surf City beach home. (Photo credit: Carl Morgan/NWS)

The storm surge destroyed the lower floor of this Surf City beach home. (Photo credit: Carl Morgan/NWS)

Florence covered this portion of Surf City's North Shore Drive in sand between Jones Avenue and Craven Avenue. (Photo credit: Carl Morgan/NWS)

NWS personnel survey the storm surge high water mark at this home in Surf City, measured at 2.7 feet above ground level at this point. (Photo credit: Carl Morgan/NWS)

NWS personnel survey the storm surge high water mark at this home in Surf City, measured at 2.7 feet above ground level at this point. (Photo credit: Carl Morgan/NWS)

 

 

NWS Meteorologist Tim Armstrong captured these scenes of Hurricane Florence early in the morning of September 14, 2018

NEW HANOVER COUNTY...  Widespread flash flooding September 14 and 15 closed many roads and inundated neighborhoods. The Northchase neighborhood was particularly hard hit with up to three feet of water entering homes. 350 water rescues were performed in the Wrightsboro and Ogden communities during the flash flooding. The Cape Fear River at Downtown Wilmington reached 8.28 feet MLLW at 3:30 p.m. EDT on September 14 during Hurricane Florence's storm surge. This exceeded its previous record stage set just two years earlier during Hurricane Matthew, and flooded portions of Water Street over two feet deep. A portion of U.S. Highway 421 was also closed due to flooding. Moderate flooding occurred during most high tides over the next two weeks including a secondary peak of 7.33 feet MLLW on September 16. New Hanover County and the city of Wilmington were isolated from the outside world for several days as every access route including Interstate 40, and U.S. Highways 17, 74, 76, and 421 were all closed due to flooding. State officials were quoted on September 20th saying, "There is not a safe, stable, or reliable route for the public to get to and from Wilmington." Many roadbeds were scoured out by fast moving flood waters.  Over 22 million gallons of untreated sewage overflowed into area waterways. A coal ash storage pond at a decommissioned coal power plant overtopped, affecting 2,000 cubic yards of ash.  An earthen dam at Sutton Lake breached in multiple spots allowing the lake to drain into the Cape Fear River.  This shut down the Duke Energy natural gas power plant which relied on the lake for cooling water.

Strong winds blew down a large number of trees and power lines, cutting electricity to over 90 percent of the county. Full restoration of electrical service took over ten days. Many homes and businesses suffered wind damage to roofs, garage doors, and siding, and at least one building in downtown Wilmington had its roof completely removed. Many fences were damaged or destroyed, and roads were blocked due to downed trees. A tree fell into a home in Wilmington during the storm, killing a mother and her child and sending the father to the hospital with injuries. Several gas station metal awnings were destroyed. The county school board reports there was damage to every school building. Damage to College Park Elementary School was particularly severe. Wind damage to the community was worse than that suffered during hurricanes Diana (1984), Fran (1996), or Floyd (1999).  New Hanover County Environmental Management estimated over 1.2 million cubic yards of tree and home debris was collected after Hurricane Florence.  The UNC-Wilmington campus suffered 140 million dollars in damage to buildings due to high winds and rainfall including damage to dormitories and classrooms. In Carolina Beach and Kure Beach significant beach erosion cut escarpments up to 10 feet high into the dune face. The Kure Beach Pier suffered minor damage. However in Wrightsville Beach, beach erosion and overwash was described as only minor. On Masonboro Island the southern end of the island was overwashed, and 15 to 20 feet of dunes were lost on the north end of the island.  Johnnie Mercer Pier on Wrightsville Beach suffered no damage during the storm.

 

Trees and tree debris covered this road at the Wilmington International Airport after Hurricane Florence. (Photo credit: Tim Armstrong/NWS)

Trees and tree debris covered this road at the Wilmington International Airport after Hurricane Florence. (Photo credit: Tim Armstrong/NWS)

A pair of tornadoes touched down in the Bayshore community in northeastern New Hanover County during the evening hours of September 15th, producing this damage to trees.  Winds were estimated to have reached 85 mph. (Photo credit: NWS)

A pair of tornadoes touched down in the Bayshore community in northeastern New Hanover County during the evening hours of September 15th, producing this damage to trees.  Winds were estimated to have reached 85 mph. (Photo credit: NWS)

Additional damage to trees from the Bayshore tornado on Sept 15, 2018. (Photo credit: NWS)Additional damage to trees from the Bayshore tornado on Sept 15, 2018.  This photo is from Yvonne Drive about one quarter mile north of Business U.S. 17. (Photo credit: NWS)

 

Wind damage across the Wilmington area was some of the worst in modern memory, exceeding damage from Hurricanes Diana, Fran, Floyd, or Matthew.  (Photo credit: Tim Armstrong/NWS)

Wind damage to trees, power lines, and roof surfaces across the Wilmington area was some of the worst in modern memory, exceeding damage from Hurricanes Diana, Fran, Floyd, or Matthew.  (Photo credit: Tim Armstrong/NWS)

At the Wilmington airport several power poles were snapped not by trees or flying debris, but by the sheer force of the wind!  (Photo credit: Vicky Oliva/NWS)At the Wilmington airport several power poles were snapped not by trees or flying debris, but by the sheer force of the wind!  (Photo credit: Vicky Oliva/NWS)

A local Wilmington gas station's awning was destroyed by Hurricane Florence's winds. (Photo credit: Vicky Oliva/NWS)

A local Wilmington gas station's awning was destroyed by Hurricane Florence's winds. (Photo credit: Vicky Oliva/NWS)

Flooding affected Heritage Park Drive off Blue Clay Road near the ILM Airport for days after Hurricane Florence. (Photo credit: Vicky Oliva/NWS)Flooding affected Heritage Park Drive off Blue Clay Road near the ILM Airport for several days after Hurricane Florence. (Photo credit: Vicky Oliva/NWS)

Not even the National Weather Service was safe.  Wind gusts over 100 mph blew down trees in our parking lot, and commercial power was out for many days. (Photo credit: Tim Armstrong/NWS)

Not even the National Weather Service was safe!  Wind gusts over 100 mph blew down trees in our office parking lot, and commercial power was out for many days. (Photo credit: Tim Armstrong/NWS)

The Cape Fear River scoured out a section of US Highway 421 near the New Hanover/Pender county line.  Record-high levels on the Cape Fear allowed water to overtop the highway and flow down into the adjacent Northeast Cape Fear River basin. (Photo credit: Rick Neuherz/NWS)

The Cape Fear River scoured out a section of US Highway 421 near the New Hanover/Pender county line.  Record-high levels on the Cape Fear allowed water to overtop the highway and flow down into the adjacent Northeast Cape Fear River basin. (Photo credit: NWS)

The storm surge line is easily visible in this photo from Royal Oak Drive off Myrtle Grove Road in New Hanover County. (Photo credit: Carl Morgan/NWS)

The storm surge wrack line is easily visible in this photo from Royal Oak Drive off Myrtle Grove Road in New Hanover County. (Photo credit: Carl Morgan/NWS)

Storm surge height diminished toward the south end of New Hanover County.  This is the wrack line at the parking area/boat launch at the end of Highway 421 in Fort Fisher.

Storm surge height diminished toward the south end of New Hanover County.  This is the wrack line at the parking area/boat launch at the end of Highway 421 in Fort Fisher.  (Photo credit: Carl Morgan/NWS)

Significant coastal flooding occurred in downtown Wilmington for many days after Hurricane Florence. (Photo credit: Rick Neuherz/NWS)

Significant coastal flooding occurred in downtown Wilmington for many days after Hurricane Florence. (Photo credit: NWS)

Panorama of the Highway 421 washout just north of Wilmington. The Cape Fear River scoured a path through the highway to reach the Northeast Cape Fear River channel off to the east. (Photo credit: Rick Neuherz/NWS)

Panorama of the Highway 421 washout just north of Wilmington. The Cape Fear River scoured a path through the highway to reach the Northeast Cape Fear River channel off to the east. (Photo credit: NWS)

 

 

BRUNSWICK COUNTY...  Widespread flash flooding developed on September 14 and 15, flooding neighborhoods and closing many roads including portions Of U.S. Highway 17 and NC Highway 87. Extremely high water in Town Creek flooded 30 homes in the Stoney Creek neighborhood. Sanford Dam at Boiling Spring Lakes, built in 1961, breached around 700 PM EDT on September 15, destroying Alton Lennon Drive and flooding one structure. NC Highway 133, the main route between Wilmington and Southport, was closed due to flooding in several locations, and a portion of the road surface was washed away near the "Gator hole" south of Leland. In Southport, the Dutchman Creek bridge was damaged and a water main was washed out in the same area.  The NC Highway 133 bridge near the Brunswick nuclear power plant was also damaged. Floodwaters washed out portions of Moore Street, Willis Drive, and West 11th street.  Newspaper reports indicates rising water forced evacuations of four people at the Brunswick Village Apartments.

High winds downed trees and power lines across the area, making travel difficult if not impossible. In Southport falling trees damaged homes, businesses, and churches. In Holden Beach damage to structures was superficial, and the beach was in good condition. Sand dunes on Oak Island which were rebuilt after Hurricane Matthew in 2016 held back the minor storm surge. A small portion of East Beach Drive on Oak Island was washed out. Wind damage on Oak Island was limited to shingles and siding, and newspaper reports indicated wind damage was worse during Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Caswell Beach suffered downed trees and a loss of water and sewer service. Sunset Beach and Ocean Isle Beach suffered mainly minor damage to siding, shingles, and trees. However on Bald Head Island substantial beach erosion occurred, followed by longer-term flooding due to persistently high water levels on the Cape Fear River. Power to the island was out for two weeks and ferry service was unavailable. South Bald Head Wynd (road) was partially covered with sand. The island's mayor was quoted in newspapers saying every street on the island was impassible and the amount of tree debris was far greater than with any other event in his 35 years on the island, but structural damage was minimal. The island's historic boat house was destroyed. Tree damage in the town of Bolivia was significant with many large trees uprooted. Structural damage to buildings was reported in Winnabow. Over 80 percent of the county was without power.

A portion of East Beach Drive near SE 55th Street on Oak Island was washed out. (Photo credit: NWS)

A portion of East Beach Drive near SE 55th Street on Oak Island was washed out. (Photo credit: NWS)

One of the few homes left on the beach side of East Beach Drive near SE 55th Avenue was undermined by waves from Hurricane Florence. (Photo credit: NWS)

One of the few homes left on the beach side of East Beach Drive near SE 55th Avenue was undermined by waves from Hurricane Florence. Beach erosion has been progressing in this area for many decades. (Photo credit: NWS)

Another view of the damage to East Beach Drive on Oak Island. (Photo credit: NWS)

Another view of the damage to East Beach Drive on Oak Island. (Photo credit: NWS)

High tides during Florence deposited debris on the sidewalk at the Fishy Fishy Cafe in Southport. (Photo credit: NWS)

High tides during Hurricane Florence deposited debris on the sidewalk at the Fishy Fishy Cafe in Southport. (Photo credit: NWS)

The center of Hurricane Florence remained north of Southport, sparing the region the worst of the storm surge that was experienced to the north.  Based on the wrack line, no flooding occurred at Waterfront Park. (Photo credit: NWS)

The center of Hurricane Florence remained north of Southport, sparing the region the deeper storm surge that was experienced to the north.  Based on the wrack line shown here, minor to perhaps moderate flooding occurred at Waterfront Park. (Photo credit: NWS)

At least one home on a low-lying portion of East Bay Street in Southport did experience flooding, surveyed over one foot deep above ground level. (Photo credit: NWS)

At least one home on a low-lying portion of East Bay Street in Southport did experience flooding, surveyed over one foot deep above ground level. (Photo credit: NWS)

 

 

COLUMBUS COUNTY...  Soules Swamp flooded the southern portion of the city of Whiteville where floodwater reached as far north as Columbus Street. Water depth was over four feet in some businesses, much higher than with hurricane Matthew. U.S. Highway 74/76 east of Whiteville was closed for a time due to flooding. A bridge over White Marsh in Whiteville was damaged. The town of Fair Bluff was flooded by the Lumber River, separating the town into two isolated sections. NC highways 87 and 11 in Riegelwood were closed due to flooding, and water was reported to be nine feet deep in one business in Riegelwood. The Coast Guard rescued 116 people from floodwaters in the Crusoe community on September 18. Newspaper reports indicate that even the highest ground in the towns of Acme, Delco, and Riegelwood were covered with water. Homes on Tank Water Road were flooded up to the rooflines and swift water rescues were necessary. In Tabor City 15 residents were rescued from flooding on Ray Street during the night of September 16. On Lake Waccamaw, large waves and a seiche flooded homes along the lakefront.  Numerous trees, boats, and docks broke loose in the high water and battered homes along the shoreline. (A seiche is a storm surge-like sloshing of the lake produced by high winds)  The Whiteville News Reporter indicated the storm "destroyed nearly every pier and boathouse on Lake Waccamaw, sending water across Waccamaw Shores and Canal Cove Drive for the first time in memory."

Around 80 percent of homes on Lake Waccamaw suffered damage due to falling trees, flooding, or battering from floating debris in the water. Damage to trees from high winds was extensive, particularly In the eastern end of Columbus County. Power was lost to a portion of Whiteville when an electrical substation flooded.  

Widespread flooding occurred in the Crusoe Island community near the Brunswick/Columbus County line. Here a high water mark is being surveyed over three feet above ground level on a metal shed.

Widespread flooding occurred in the Crusoe Island community near the Brunswick/Columbus County line. Here a high water mark is being surveyed over three feet above ground level on a metal shed. (Photo credit: Carl Morgan/NWS)

Still recovering from severe flooding suffered during Hurricane Matthew just two years earlier, Hurricane Florence brought more devastating flooding to downtown Fair Bluff.  Water several feet deep destroyed many businesses.

Still recovering from severe flooding suffered during Hurricane Matthew just two years earlier, Hurricane Florence brought more devastating flooding to downtown Fair Bluff.  Water several feet deep destroyed many businesses. (Photo credit: Carl Morgan/NWS)

Our survey crew found a high water mark 2.5 feet above ground level on the welcome sign to Fair Bluff.

Our survey crew found a high water mark 2.5 feet above ground level on the welcome sign to Fair Bluff.  (Photo credit: Carl Morgan/NWS)

 

      

BLADEN COUNTY...  Flash flooding closed many roads and highways across Bladen County during and immediately after the hurricane. In the town of Bladenboro store windows were burst out by floodwaters, and a railroad track and its roadbed were washed away. The Cape Fear River eventually crested between two and six feet higher than during Hurricane Matthew, setting a new record stage at Lock and Dam #1.  The entire town of Kelly was evacuated due to life-threatening flooding that occurred when a 30-foot wide breach opened in a dike along the Cape Fear River built in 1945. More than 100 people had be to evacuated by air or by boat. Newspaper reports also indicated several hundred feet of White Oak road was devastated. A major log jam developed up against the U.S. Highway 701 bridge over the Cape Fear River.

Many trees and power lines were blown down by the wind. Newspaper photos showed trees lying across NC highway 87, and a gas station canopy destroyed. In Bladenboro a church steeple was destroyed.

Cassius Smith Road washed out in Bladen County from severe flooding near the Cape Fear River

Cassius Smith Rd. washed due to severe flooding near the Cape Fear River (photo credit: NWS)

A log jam banked up against the Highway 701 bridge over the Cape Fear River near Elizabethtown, NC

 

A log jam banked up against the Highway 701 bridge over the Cape Fear River near Elizabethtown, NC.  The bridge was not damaged despite the tremendous volume of debris in the water. 

(Photo credit: NWS)

Many roads were damaged or washed away from record flooding along the Cape Fear River, such as this one near White Oak Road in Bladen County

Many roads were damaged or washed away from record flooding along the Cape Fear River, such as this one near White Oak Road in Bladen County (photo credit: NWS)

 

 

ROBESON COUNTY...  Flash flooding closed a 9 mile stretch of Interstate 95 on September 16. Floodwaters expanded on September 17, closing a 33 mile stretch of this major north-south highway.  And by September 19th a nearly 60-mile stretch of this major north-south highway was closed between Lumberton and Benson, NC.  The Interstate did not reopen until September 23. The Lumber River is estimated to have crested near 25.4 feet, over one foot higher than the Hurricane Matthew crest in 2016. The Mayfair neighborhood just north of Lumberton was flooded up to eight feet deep. Significant flooding in the town of Pembroke flooded many homes and isolated neighborhoods. Robeson County Emergency Management reported over 500 structures were damaged by the storm. Levees along the Lumber River held despite rumors that a breach had occurred. Thousands of sandbags stacked to protect the south and west sides of Lumberton did not hold back the floodwaters however. Altogether nearly two million gallons of sewage spilled in Lumberton and the town of St. Pauls, affecting great Marsh Swamp and the Lumber River.

Over 75 percent of customers lost power across Robeson County as many trees fell across power lines. Newspapers reported two fatalities occurred in Robeson County due to Florence: a 51-year old woman died on September 23 on NC highway 904 after driving around barricades and into a road washout. An 83-year old man died on September 16 after driving into a sinkhole near the town of Maxton.

Significant flooding destroyed homes and businesses in low-lying parts of Lumberton.  This home near Meadow Branch (a tributary of Fivemile Branch and the Lumber River) was one of many gutted after the storm. (Photo credit: Rick Neuherz/NWS)

Significant flooding destroyed homes and businesses in low-lying parts of Lumberton.  This home near Meadow Branch (a tributary of Fivemile Branch and the Lumber River) was one of many gutted after the storm. (Photo credit: NWS)

Exceptional level waters occurred along NC Highway 211 (N Roberts Avenue) from flooding in the Lumber River and Fivemile Branch.  The line of dead vegetation shows how where high water persisted. (Photo credit: Chris McDermott/NWS)

Exceptional level waters occurred along NC Highway 211 (N Roberts Avenue) from flooding in the Lumber River and Fivemile Branch.  The line of dead vegetation shows where high water persisted for several days. (Photo credit: Chris McDermott/NWS)

NWS personnel survey high water marks on a power pole along North Roberts Avenue in Lumberton.  At this point water reached 5.6 feet above ground level. (Photo credit: Chris McDermott/NWS)NWS personnel survey high water marks on a power pole along North Roberts Avenue in Lumberton.  At this point water reached 7.3 feet above ground level. (Photo credit: Chris McDermott/NWS)

 

 

Storm Impacts across northeastern South Carolina by county

 

HORRY COUNTY...  On September 17 local news media reported over 100 people had been rescued from flooded homes and cars in the town of Loris. The Waccamaw River at Conway crested at a record 22.1 feet, breaking its Hurricane Matthew crest by four feet. Nearly 1000 homes and businesses near the river were flooded, many severely. Homes in the Polo Farms neighborhood off SC highway 905 were flooded five feet deep when the Waccamaw River backed up Simpsons Creek. Aberdeen Country club in Longs and the Bradford Creek neighborhood off Highway 544 also flooded with up to three feet of water entering homes. On September 26 raw sewage flowed from the Conway Wastewater Treatment Plant into a tributary that feeds into the Waccamaw River. The community of Dongola in western Horry county was isolated for ten days. The flood wave continued to create devastation as it moved downstream through the towns of Bucksport and Socastee. The Silver Fox Landing Development near the Intracoastal Waterway had water up to eight feet deep in homes.

A number of trees were blown down by high winds across the northern half of Horry County.  Newspaper reports said around 80,000 customers were without power across the Grand Strand area. Relatively minor damage was reported to roofs, awnings, siding, and fences. Damage was lighter across the southern portion of Horry County. In Surfside Beach and Garden City Beach no significant damage was reported.

At the end of November, Horry County Emergency Management reported that a total of 361 homes in Conway and 1,580 homes in the rural portion of the county were damaged.  A total of 261 roads suffered damage or were washed out by flooding.  Estimated residential damage was $49 million.  Grand Strand Regional Medical Center was evacuated and closed in the days after the storm.  The Horry County Coroner's office reported two fatalities in the town of Loris on September 14th due to carbon monoxide poisoning after a gasoline-powered electrical generator was run indoors.

 

Wilson Landing near the Waccamaw River

Wilson Landing near the Waccamaw River. (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

Lees Landing. Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

Lees Landing. (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

Lees Landing Circle near the Waccamaw River. (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

Lees Landing Circle near the Waccamaw River. (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

Lees Landing Circle near the Waccamaw River (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

Lees Landing Circle near the Waccamaw River (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

SC Highway 90 near Lees Landing Circle (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

SC Highway 90 near Lees Landing Circle (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

Highway 501 between Conway and Coastal Carolina University. SC DOT constructed flood barricades along this highway, and also a portion of US Highway 17 near Georgetown. (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

US Hwy 501 between Conway and Coastal Carolina University. SC DOT constructed flood barricades along this road, and also along a portion of US Hwy 17 near Georgetown. (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

Flooding at Kingston Presbyterian Church in Conway (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

Flooding at Kingston Presbyterian Church in Conway (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

SC Highway 905 bridge across Kingston Lake. (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

SC Highway 905 bridge across Kingston Lake. (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

Main Street and Mill Pond Road in Conway. Flooding is from nearby Crab Tree Swamp. (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

Main Street and Mill Pond Road in Conway. Flooding is from nearby Crab Tree Swamp. (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

Snow Hill Drive in Conway. (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

Snow Hill Drive in Conway. (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

Conway Elementary School. (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

Conway Elementary School. (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

Flooding on Crescent Drive in Conway from nearby Crab Tree Swamp. (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

Flooding on Crescent Drive in Conway from nearby Crab Tree Swamp. (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

Severe Flooding on Pitch Landing Drive from the Waccmaw River. (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

Severe flooding on Pitch Landing Drive from the Waccmaw River. (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

Waccamaw Drive. (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

Waccamaw Drive. (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

Waccamaw Drive. (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

Waccamaw Drive. (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

Waccamaw Drive. (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

Waccamaw Drive. (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

A flooded power line corridor near Waccamaw Drive. (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

A flooded power line corridor near Waccamaw Drive. (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

Flooding near the Conway City Marina. (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

Flooding near the Conway City Marina. (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

Severe flooding in Socastee, SC. (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

Severe flooding in Socastee, SC. (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

Rosewood Drive in Socastee. (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

Rosewood Drive in Socastee. (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

Flooding near the Intracoastal Waterway in Socastee, SC. (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

Flooding near the Intracoastal Waterway in Socastee, SC. (Photo credit: Jonathan Lamb/NWS)

 

 

GEORGETOWN COUNTY...  Flood waves on the Waccamaw and Great Pee Dee Rivers reached Georgetown almost two weeks after Hurricane Florence's landfall.  This caused flooding of low area around around downtown Georgetown across several tide cycles. Particularly high water levels on September 28 flooded Constitution Park along Orange street and also covered Front Street. Reports from Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island indicate no significant damage occurred. There were some power outages during the storm, but buildings, piers, and beaches were largely undamaged.  A 23 year old man died on September 16 when his truck overturned in floodwater along Plantersville Road north of Georgetown.  Data provided by Georgetown County emergency management in late November indicated 10 homes across the county sustained a total of $432,655 of damage during Hurricane Florence, and two businesses were damaged totaling $15,500.

 

MARION COUNTY...  Flooding was particularly severe in the Britton's Neck and Gresham communities. Many people were evacuated, and as of October 1 could still not access their homes due to flooding. In the town of Nichols approximately 150 homes recently rebuilt after flooding from Hurricane Matthew were damaged again. Flooding was described by residents as much worse than during Hurricane Matthew.  Two hospital patients being transported by sheriff deputies on September 18th died in floodwaters along Highway 76 near Pee Dee Island Road between the towns of Nichols and Mullins.  News reports described they were driving through "very swift and deep water."  The two deputies were able to escape from the flooded vehicle and were rescued. 

 

MARLBORO COUNTY...  Generally minor damage occurred to trees. At the storm's peak around 3,400 customers were without power across Marlboro County.  Emergency Management officials were aware of six buildings destroyed and approximately 200 more damaged across the county.  Estimated total losses were around $3 million.

 

FLORENCE COUNTY...  Wind damage occurred to some trees and signs from wind gusts over 60 mph, but impacts were considered generally minor.  At the storm's peak around 12,000 customers were without power across Florence County.  Flooding along the Lynches River prompted the evacuation of 2500 residents from the southern portion of the county on September 21st. Flooding on the Great Pee Dee River shut down a portion of the city of Florence's municipal water system on September 24. 

At the end of November Florence County Emergency Management reported two homes were destroyed by Florence's floodwaters, with 52 others damaged for a total of $279,124.  Around 250 homes in the county suffered damage to roofs (mainly shingles) from the wind, totaling approximately $1 million.

 

DARLINGTON COUNTY...  Twenty-three county maintained roads were damaged due to the hurricane. A bridge on New Hopewell Road collapsed. Lake Darpo Dam was damaged and will need over 100,000 dollars of repair work. A FEMA report indicated 21 homes in Darlington County had major flood damage, and one home was completely destroyed. 

 

DILLON COUNTY...  Flooding damaged approximately 400 homes throughout the county.  An 81 year old man was killed after his vehicle was submerged in floodwaters along Carolina Church Road on September 19th.  Interstate 95 was closed in South Carolina for several days after the storm due to flooding from the Pee Dee River.  The road reopened in South Carolina on September 21st, but remained closed in North Carolina.

 

WILLIAMSBURG COUNTY...  Very few storm impacts were noted across Williamsburg County.

 

Other Storm Impacts

Hurricanes often trap sea birds in the calm of the eye, transporting them great distances out of the tropics.  This was shown to occur in Hurricane Hugo, Hurricane Fran, and other strong storms in local history.  Hurricane Florence did the same, with one sighting from Buckhorn Reservoir west of Wilson, NC reporting exceptionally rare birds for an inland location including a Trindade Petrel, Royal and Sandwich Terns, and even a Red-necked Phalarope.  The Washington Post has an article with more details on this remarkable sighting.

 

 

Additional Links of Interest

National Hurricane Center: Final Report on Hurricane Florence

National Hurricane Center: Hurricane Florence Advisory and Discussion Archive

National Weather Service Newport/Morehead City NC: Historical Hurricane Florence

NC Climate Office: Record Rainfall and Flooding Follow Florence, and Florence-Soaked September Was Warm and Wet in NC

NOAA: Hurricane Florence high-resolution imagery collected after the storm from airplane overflights

USGS:  Flood Event Viewer

USGS:  Preliminary Peak Stage and Streamflow Data (NC/SC) Following Hurricane Florence

NWS Wilmington NC: Top 20 Storms in Wilmington, North Carolina's History

Wilmington Star-News Newspaper: Hurricane Florence stories

NC Department of Public Safety:  Hurricane Florence statistics

SC Department of Health and Environmental Control:  Hurricane Florence Final Updates

 

Research and Page Author: Tim Armstrong
Page Created: November 27, 2018
Last Modified: March 29, 2019