09/13/09 251 W - + 8 - 14 Remembering Floyd

Today's News & Observer has a tenth-anniversary retrospective of Hurricane Floyd. The 300-mile wide storm with 110-mph winds was the worst natural disaster in the state's history. Floyd landed on September 16, 1999, and soaked a state already overflowing from Tropical Storm Dennis from two weeks before. As the feature by Martha Quillin notes, "Floyd filled creeks and rivers and lakes until they overflowed. Then it filled the neighborhoods around them, and downstream from them, from Raleigh to the coast." The storm killed 52 people in our state, and caused $6 billion in damage. Here are the story links:

The pre-Floyd event, Tropical Storm Dennis, struck the state on September 5, 1999. The eye made landfall on the southeastern coast with 70 mph winds at 3:00 p.m. The eye of the storm passed northeast of Raleigh about 1:00 a.m. on September 6. Two weeks later, Hurricane Floyd made landfall as a Category 2 storm near Wilmington at 3:00 a.m. on September 16. The eye of the storm passed east of Raleigh about 9:00 a.m. that morning. As the Hurricane Floyd Wikipedia page notes, resulting rains caused "widespread flooding over a period of several weeks; nearly every river basis in the eastern part of the state exceeded 500-year flood levels."

What do responders remember from that time?

I was working in Goldsboro back then and remember getting off on the morning before it came in and we were told to call before leaving home. That next morning I called in at 6 AM and was told to stay home until it passed. By 8 AM I was able to leave home but my town was shut down literally beacause of the flooding swamp and trees across the roads in multiple areas. I helped clear roadways until I was able to leave town on Hwy 50 North and venture all the way to Newton Grove in order to get to Goldsboro. Finally got to Station 4 about 1 PM. We ran numerous calls that day and night, mostly due to electricty coming back on and other calls. Went on 4 day break the next day and that’s when the Neuse crested and flooded alot of the city. When I came back off of 4 day I had to go all the way to Smithfield come down 70, go on 581 to Nahunta then to Pikeville just to get to Goldsboro. It was a very tough week or so in that city before things returned to normal.
car3550 - 09/13/09 - 17:52

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