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Dark Water: The Legacy of Hurricane Floyd, Part 1

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No other weather event in North Carolina history caused as much damage as Hurricane Floyd. Yet in terms of hurricanes records, Floyd wasn’t the largest storm to hit our state. It wasn’t the fastest moving storm. In fact, it wasn’t even the strongest, not even in the top 5. So what made Floyd so costly?

In some ways, it is one of the most misunderstood events of the last century. The story of
Hurricane Floyd does not even begin in September; it begins in late August of 1999 with a tropical storm named Dennis. On August 24, Tropical Storm Dennis formed in the Atlantic. Dennis was not your typical storm; it followed an erratic path, circling off the Carolina coast before making a final landfall on September 5.

Dennis brought hurricane force wind gusts of over 100 mph to the Cape Fear area and $100 million in damage in the Carolinas, partially from flooding. After all, parts of eastern Carolina got over 18 inches of rain from Dennis.

You see, it was Dennis that set the stage for the flooding of Hurricane Floyd. Within a few weeks time, Floyd would be on our back doorstep with a foot and a half of additional, rain. Tuesday, we will look back to those pictures we never forget.

For more on Floyd, visit our special Remembering Hurricane Floyd section on our website.

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videoIt is hard to believe that 10 years have passed since Hurricane Floyd made landfall in North Carolina. This week, meteorologist Jerry Jackson takes a special look back at a storm that made meteorological history.

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