RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Florence began like so many long-track hurricanes, as a wave off Africa in late August.
Florence strengthened into a hurricane on Sept. 3 and became a Category 4 storm for the first time just two days later. When Florence strengthened to Category 4 for the second time, it packed sustained winds of 150 miles per hour.
Fortunately, Florence would weaken significantly before making landfall near Wrightsville Beach at 7:15 a.m. Sept. 14, three years ago Tuesday.
Even though Florence weakened before landfall, it had slowed down significantly, only moving 6 miles per hour.
It took Florence 24 hours to move slightly less than 100 miles from North Carolina into South Carolina, dumping heavy rain and causing major flooding from the coast, to central North Carolina.
Communities like Dunn, Mount Olive, Fayetteville, and Goldsboro picked up 15 to 25 inches of rain, and towns in the Triangle dealt with 5 to 10 inches. This led to roads looking like rivers and stranding people for days.
Hurricane Florence would be the last hurricane to make landfall in North Carolina until Isaias just last year.
Right now, we are at the peak of hurricane season with more storms inevitably going to develop. With parts of our state still cleaning up from this year’s F-named storm, Tropical Storm Fred, all we can do is make sure our plan is in place should another storm head our way.