RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — After a September that saw 10 named storms in the Atlantic, hurricane season has quieted down at the start of October. Hopefully, that trend continues for the rest of the month. October isn’t always so quiet though. Just in the past seven years, two storms brought significant impacts to North Carolina.
Sunday, October 8, was the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Michael impacting the Tar Heel State. Michael started out as a tropical wave in the western Caribbean next to the Yucatan Peninsula and rapidly intensified into a Category 5 hurricane before making landfall in the Florida panhandle. As it moved northeast through Georgia and the Carolinas, Michael weakened to a tropical storm, lessening the impacts across central North Carolina.
Michael remains the third strongest storm by minimum pressure to make landfall in the U.S. with a central pressure of 919 millibars. Those lesser impacts across North Carolina were still significant. Nearly half a million Duke Energy customers lost power at some point during the storm and total damage topped $7 million in North Carolina.
This Wednesday, October 11, marks seven years since Hurricane Matthew ravaged the state with torrential rain, wind, and flash & river flooding. Florida narrowly avoided the landfall of Matthew and so did North Carolina, but it still caused extensive damage since its center stayed over water, allowing it to retain some strength and moisture. That flood damage topped $1 billion dollars in the Carolinas. 29 people died in the Carolinas as well.
The rain totals that came out of Matthew were nothing short of extreme. Over a foot fell in Fayetteville, Goldsboro, and Hope Mills. RDU saw over six inches of heavy rain.