Hurricane Florence

Satellite image of Hurricane Florence (courtesy of

Emanuel Ribeiro-Reyes

  The coast of the United States was struck by Hurricane Florence on September 14 in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, wreaking havoc on thousands of homes and causing major floods throughout the town. The impact left many people trapped in their homes, struggling for food and water.

  The hurricane began as a tropical storm, forming over the Cabo Verde Islands off the coast of West Africa on September 1. From there, it quickly peaked to a Category 4 hurricane with winds of approximately 140 mph. By the time it reached the coast, the hurricane was downgraded to a category 1 storm.

  The hurricane caused exponential floods throughout North Carolina, hitting the streets with 30 inches of rain. This created an enormous economic crisis, with billions of dollars in damage to businesses. The waters also damaged personal property of thousands of homes.

  Over 400,000 power outages were caused, spanning across 3 states. Houses and businesses were left without power, forcing residents to use generators, batteries, etc.

  2,000+ flights were also cancelled due to the impact of the hurricane. With winds of about 90 mph, flights would be too dangerous and serious injuries could occur.

  According to CBS News, Over 19,000 people were in shelters in North Carolina. Another 6,800 people were in shelters in South Carolina and Virginia. Many of their homes were flooded and damaged by the intensity of the waters, destroying valuables

  Unfortunately, 36 people died in North Carolina. Nine others were claimed by the aftermath in South Carolina and Virginia.

  Additionally, a staggering total of over 3 million chickens were recorded dead from the strike of hurricane Florence in North Carolina alone, which left farmers in disarray. Sanderson Farms, in particular, lost 1.7 million chickens on its farms and 60 of its broiler houses were flooded. This is one of America’s largest poultry producers in North Carolina.

  There were also numerous agricultural damages by the hurricane hit. Some of the hardest hit commodities were: cotton, peanuts, hemp, and livestock. Most of these damages were a result of the vicious floods that were brought by the winds.

  President Trump visited North Carolina and South Carolina on September 19, addressing the catastrophe of the situation and showing remorse for families who lost loved ones. Trump described the incident as a rough moment for the residents of North Carolina, and that the federal response to the disaster was incredible.

  The hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30 this year, with 12 storms recorded thus far, and 5 of them becoming hurricanes. Florence was the only one hurricane to reach over a category 3, making it a major hurricane.

  The damage caused by hurricane florence was an absolute catastrophe. It took the lives of dozens and caused an estimated total of 40-60 billion dollars in economic damages. While the brunt of the storm had passed away, thousands of people were in danger for a week more, whether it was from property damage to outages.

  To prepare for any natural disaster, you should have an emergency plan with tips of shelters, evacuation routes, and how to maintain contact with family members. You should also have food and water safely stored. Moreover, you should check for emergency alerts from phones, radio, and TV broadcasts.