SOUTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA (WECT) - The bruising Atlantic hurricane season of 2016 officially ended November 30. The season featured 15 total named storms including seven hurricanes - close to most pre-season predictions.
Matthew was the strongest hurricane of the 2016 season; it attained Category 5 status in the Caribbean.
Mercifully, Matthew did not feature Category 5 winds when it skirted the North Carolina coast October 8, but its rain and freshwater flooding impacts were catastrophic nonetheless. Matthew caused 22 fatalities and upwards of $1.5 billion in damage to North Carolina; full recovery will take months and years.
Remarkably, a total 24 inches of rain fell at Wilmington from five tropical systems that directly impacted southeastern North Carolina in 2016: Bonnie in May, Colin in June, Hermine in September, Julia in September, and of course Matthew in October.
Thank you for staying with your First Alert Weather Team through all the heavy tropical rains of 2016. Hurricane season 2017 begins June 1.