Research

Water, Not Wind

By January 28, 2019 March 19th, 2019 No Comments

In the wake of Hurricane Michael’s unprecedented and tragic path of destruction from the Florida Panhandle through to Virginia, and flash flooding that stretched even farther north, the contrast to Florence’s fresh-in-the-memory events is stark.

Michael rapidly escalated in a remarkably short time frame to a sustained 155 mph wind, Category 4 hurricane at landfall on Florida’s panhandle, and maintained hurricane status well into Georgia, cutting a swath of destruction and especially on the coast. Three days later, all the damage to lives and property was done with a death toll of 43 in Florida alone,

and over 50 across the US. Florence more slowly approached the North Carolina coast, eventually making landfall as a 90 mph Category 1 at Wrightsville Beach. It was the cause of 47 deaths and surge, rain and river flood-related damages estimated at $28.5 billion, stretching inland 200 miles from the coast. The worst of the damage occurred many days after landfall as the slow-moving system meandered its way northeast, dumping unprecedented rain in North Carolina and beyond…

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