NOAA: $24 billion in damage from Florence, 9th most destructive in U.S. history

Water Street in Wilmington flooded during Hurricane Florence.
Water Street in Wilmington flooded during Hurricane Florence.(WBTV (custom credit))
Published: May. 4, 2019 at 11:15 AM EDT
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(WECT) - The National Hurricane Center has released its final report on Hurricane Florence.

The report states Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach as a high category 1 hurricane with winds of 80 knots (about 92 mph). The storm resulted in 52 deaths in the Carolinas and Virginia.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) estimates the damage caused by Florence cost around $24 billion. This makes Florence the ninth-most-destructive hurricane to hit the United States.

In North Carolina alone, damaged flooding totaled $22 billion, leaving 30 dead from direct, flooding or wind impacts. All of the freshwater deaths involved motor vehicles. The wind-related deaths were caused by falling trees. In New Hanover County, a tree fell on a home and killed a mother and her son during the storm.

North Carolina’s agriculture industry lost about $20 million, consisting of forestry, fishery, damage to farm buildings, equipment, and infrastructure. Field crops, especially tobacco, soybeans, sweet potatoes, corn, and cotton, accounted for most of the state’s agricultural losses.

Hurricane Florence caused the worst flooding in local history in Pender County. In just two days during the storm, there were 350 rescues due to closed roads and inundated neighborhoods. Overall, over 1,000 people were rescued and there were 3,882 flood-damaged structures across the county.

Approximately 1.1 million people lost power due to Florence’s effects in both North and South Carolina.

To view the final Hurricane Florence report, click here.

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