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Hurricane Florence: A Year Later

This video shot Sept. 27, 2018, by Onslow County government shows the coastal county just weeks after Hurricane Florence hit Eastern North Carolina a year ago.

This weekend marks the one-year anniversary of the Category 1 storm making landfall, lingering over Onslow County for three days and bringing in rainfall up to 42 inches. The storm damaged more than 11,000 homes and businesses in the county, costing residents more than $515 million in damages and leaving behind more than 800,000 cubic feet of debris, according to the county.

“The magnitude and scope of the destruction and devastation brought to Onslow County by Hurricane Florence impacted all of us. However, the unique spirit of community and service to others, which is Onslow County has significantly advanced the recovery and rebuilding efforts. We still have much work ahead of us to fully recover from Hurricane Florence and with us continuing to work together we will rebuild our community to be strong and more resilient.” said  Onslow County Manager David Cotton in a statement.

Onslow County government staff spent 10 nights and days in the Emergency Operations Center during Hurricane Florence, after ordering mandatory evacuations for the first time in county history. They helped bus more than 900 residents outside the County to safety. Emergency operators took more than 7,900 calls, and the Onslow County Swift Water Rescue Team, County Sheriff’s Office, paid and volunteer fire departments, the Marine Corps and Coast Guard plucked more than 400 residents out of floodwaters. For three days, all roads leading into Onslow County were impassible.

“Hurricane Florence was one of the most difficult and was the costliest storm in the recorded history of Onslow County. I cannot thank the men and women of the County as well as our partners and volunteers for all that they did for the citizens during Hurricane Florence,” Onslow County Emergency Services Director Norman Bryson said in a statement.

Dorian caused just under $6 million in damage to almost 140 properties in the county. North Topsail Beach took the brunt with almost 80 properties affected, resulting in more than $4 million in damage. Jacksonville had damage to almost 20 homes and businesses estimated at $168,000.

About the Author

Staff Report

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