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NC Florence Damage Estimates at $17 Billion

Swells from Hurricane Florence in Emerald Isle. Photo: Sam Bland

RALEIGH — Hurricane Florence caused an estimated $17 billion in damage, per new information from the North Carolina Office of State Budget and Management.

That number is up from a previous estimate of $13 billion, according to a release Wednesday from the governor’s office.  The updated figure is based on new data from the North Carolina Department of Insurance and damage estimates may continue to change. Future updated figures will be based on actual inspection data as it becomes available.

“Six weeks ago, Hurricane Florence’s powerful storm surges, winds and rains brought unprecedented devastation to our state, causing an estimated $17 billion in damage,” Gov. Roy Cooper said in a statement. “I’ve spent time since then visiting with families, businesses and local officials in the impacted area and it’s clear that we have to recover smarter and stronger to better withstand future storms.”

Recovery efforts in the state continue. To date, more than 130,000 people have registered with Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, for individual assistance. Over $108 million in individual assistance has been approved for homeowners and renters. Small Business Administration loans have also been approved for nearly 400 hurricane-affected small businesses.

Hurricane Florence damage is historic compared to previous storms that have hit the state. Hurricane Matthew caused $4.8 billion in damages and when adjusted for inflation, Hurricane Floyd caused between $7 and $9.4 billion in damages, meaning that Florence has caused more damage than Matthew and Floyd combined, according to the release.

Residents of any county with damage to their home caused by Hurricane Florence are encouraged to begin the FEMA registration process by calling 800-621-FEMA to register via telephone or at

Other forms of relief including Disaster Unemployment Assistancetemporary recovery jobs,foreclosure prevention assistance and help for small businesses owners are still available. For more information, call 211.

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Staff Report

The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.