Hurricane Florence: A Long-Lived Cape Verde Hurricane and Record-Breaking Rainfall in the Carolinas




Hurricane florence 2018

Hurricane Florence originated from a robust tropical wave that emerged off the west coast of Africa on August 30, 2018. Progressing west-northwest, the system became a tropical depression near Cape Verde on August 31, eventually intensifying into a tropical storm on September 1. Florence rapidly strengthened on September 4–5, reaching Category 4 status on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph. Although it weakened to a tropical storm by September 7, Florence regained hurricane strength on September 9 and became a major hurricane with winds of 140 mph on September 10. However, persistent wind shear gradually weakened the storm, resulting in its downgrade to a Category 1 hurricane by the evening of September 13.

Impacts and Damage: Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach early on Friday, September 14, 2018. The storm’s slow movement inland led to prolonged heavy rainfall, causing catastrophic flooding in the Carolinas. Florence’s immense rainfall established a new record as the wettest tropical cyclone on record in the region. The significant volume of water overwhelmed rivers, leading to extensive flooding and inundation of numerous communities.

The impacts of Hurricane Florence were severe and far-reaching. The storm caused extensive property damage, including the destruction of homes, infrastructure, and public facilities. Strong winds led to downed trees and power lines, leaving millions without electricity. Tragically, Hurricane Florence resulted in numerous fatalities, with the exact number varying across different sources. The storm’s slow movement exacerbated the flooding, as it allowed more time for the rainwater to accumulate.

Recovery and Rebuilding: The cleanup and rebuilding process following Hurricane Florence were substantial undertakings. The costs of recovery were estimated to be in the billions of dollars, encompassing emergency response efforts, infrastructure repair, housing assistance, and economic recovery measures. The affected areas faced significant challenges in restoring essential services, housing displaced individuals, and revitalizing local economies.

Lessons Learned and Preparedness Recommendations: The experience of Hurricane Florence underscores the importance of preparedness and timely response when facing similar threats. To protect against the impacts of future hurricanes, the following recommendations are suggested:

  1. Stay informed: Regularly monitor weather forecasts and updates from trusted sources. Follow guidance and instructions from local authorities.
  2. Evacuation plans: Familiarize yourself with evacuation routes and have a clear plan in place for you and your family. Prepare an emergency kit containing essential supplies.
  3. Secure property: Prior to a hurricane, secure outdoor objects, trim trees, and reinforce windows and doors. Consider flood insurance if you reside in a vulnerable area.
  4. Community preparedness: Engage with community disaster response and recovery plans. Encourage participation in drills and exercises to enhance preparedness at all levels.
  5. Resilient infrastructure: Invest in infrastructure improvements to enhance resilience against flooding, including improved drainage systems, stormwater management, and flood protection measures.

Interesting Fact: As a direct result of Hurricane Florence, an intriguing fact emerged. The storm’s heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding led to the release of large quantities of toxic waste from overflowing pig waste lagoons. live and learn!

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One response to “Hurricane Florence: A Long-Lived Cape Verde Hurricane and Record-Breaking Rainfall in the Carolinas”

  1. […] weather event, captivating the attention of meteorologists and researchers alike. Forming as a Cape Verde hurricane in the southeastern region of the North Atlantic Ocean, Helene displayed remarkable longevity and […]

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