Hurricane Florence Hitting the Carolinas

Source: NPR

By Ceili Ahern

As hurricane Florence is downgraded to a tropical depression the after effects are still lingering. The hurricane made landfall in North Carolina on Friday, September 14th as a category one hurricane with winds gusting between 90 and 105 mph. The damage it has done to the Carolinas will take months if not longer to be repaired. 

Many highways and streets around the two states are closed due to the mass amount of rain that has fallen in such a short period of time. In Wilmington, North Carolina the roads are under muddy river water. Leaving the residents stranded from leaving or going back to their houses. Governor Roy Cooper has stated, “The risk to life is rising with the angry waters”. While the death toll is at seventeen people right now it is expected to rise due to the twenty additional inches of rain that are expected to fall over the next couple of days. Many of the deaths are related to incidents such as electrocution and fallen trees. One of the youngest victims of storm-related deaths was a three-month-old baby who was killed when a tree fell on their mobile home in Dallas, North Carolina. This storm has broken Wilmington’s annual rainfall total record. The record previously being 83.67 inches of rain fallen in the year 1877 to now 86.79 in 2018 while still having over three months left in hurricane season. 

Prior to hurricane Florence making landfall, many residents in North Carolina made complaints to the attorney general’s office about price gouging. Currently being investigated some of the items that had seen significant price increases were water, gas, and hotel rooms. Stein stated after getting over two hundred and fifty complaints “Price gouging’s illegal because no business should take advantage of people’s desperation. When people are at their lowest, that’s when we should be reaching out – to help folks, not take advantage”.  

Many residents have accounted for the storm saying they have never seen this much rain thus far in their area. One North Carolina resident said “The wind was so hard, the waters were so hard, that trying to get out we got thrown into trailers. We got thrown into mailboxes, houses, trees,”. With significant wind and rain, the power outages began to rise as the storm continued. Currently, over six hundred thousand residents are without power. Many say that is will take days before North Carolina residents’ power is restored. 

The last major hurricane to hit the Carolina’s before Florence was Hurricane Matthew. Matthew was a category one hurricane when officially making landfall in October of 2016. This hurricane brought widespread flooding and extensive damage. The damage across the state cost an estimated $4.8 billion while leaving at least 25 people dead. 

The NFL Foundation announced Sunday, September 16th that they will be donating one million dollars to different organizations around the areas affected to aid with the cleaning up process and shelters for residents. This donation is just the beginning of the extensive amount of money that is going to have to be spent.