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Possibility of an active hurricane season


The truth is, North Carolinians have been fortunate not to be struck by a major hurricane in some years. But with every approaching hurricane season, meteorologist like Steven Pfaff at the National Weather Service in Wilmington said you can never let your guard down. “It only takes one storm, how strong that storm is, where it goes, and who it impacts to be a devastating hurricane season.”

Mother Nature can be unpredictable, but many work behind the scenes monitoring weather patterns to try and see the future. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA is calling for slightly above normal season this year, with 9 to 14 named storms. Four to seven of those storms could potentially become hurricanes. One to three may result in major hurricanes from category 3 up to category 5.

But you would still need a crystal ball to pinpoint just where and when any of these storms may hit. No one could have predicted the devastation that was left behind after Hurricane Floyd, which made landfall in the Cape Fear region in September 1999. When all was said and done, more than 18 inches of rain fell in our area during Hurricane Floyd. “Into the mid-90s into 1999 when Hurricane Floyd hit this was a really active location for tropical cyclones,” said Pfaff. “We had Hurricane Fran, Hurricane Bertha, and Hurricane Floyd being the biggest. Hurricane Floyd caused flooding that we haven’t seen for over 500 hundred years, epic flooding which related to over fifty fatalities in the area.”

Now on Floyd’s ten year anniversary, Pfaff said we can take the lessons from our past to guide us into a more prepared future. “We have to prepare for not just the storm surge and the storm winds but also for the flooding. Typically hurricanes have been known as floods in disguise,” he said.

What is clear is that there is no better time than the present to prepare you and family for what Mother Nature will dish out.

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videoToday marks the official start to the 2009 hurricane season. For those of us on the coast, it is time to plan for what could be an active one.

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