By the numbers: Florence's devastating blow to the Carolinas

By Amanda Schmidt, AccuWeather staff writer
September 18, 2018, 10:38:53 PM EDT

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Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina early in the morning of Friday, Sept. 14. The storm trekked west as it slowed down from 5 mph to 2 mph. Therefore, its torrential rain persistently pelted several communities.

Record-breaking rainfall was recorded throughout the Carolinas, with the highest rainfall, 35.93 inches of rain, recorded near Elizabethtown, North Carolina.

This amount breaks the previous North Carolina tropical rainfall record of 24.09 inches set during Hurricane Floyd in 1999.

hurricane florence 9-16-2018

Members of the North Carolina Task Force urban search and rescue team wade through a flooded neighborhood looking for residents who stayed behind as Florence continues to dump heavy rain in Fayetteville, N.C., Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018. (AP Photo/David Goldman)


Areas of the Carolinas were inundated with 1 to 2 feet of rain, with some spots receiving nearly 3 feet of rain. Southeastern North Carolina was hit with the heaviest rainfall, according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said.

Florence has dumped nearly 2 feet of rain on Wilmington, North Carolina, bringing the 2018 rainfall total in the city to over 86 inches. This washes away the old yearly rainfall record in the city of 83.65 inches, set in 1877.

"Florence did what it was forecast to do, it produced flooding rainfall. That will be its legacy," Kottlowski said.

Many local officials have said that the storm produced the worst flooding ever in certain locations, especially over southeastern North Carolina.

Florence has led to at least 35 deaths and hundreds of water rescues.

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More than 1 million people lost power at the height of the storm. Officials are working frantically to restore power and rescue those trapped by the storm.

Some of the hardest-hit areas may be without power for weeks, according to Duke Energy officials.

The storm is no longer a hurricane, but flooding issues continue to mount across the Carolinas as rivers continue to rise.

“The worst of the rain is over [in the Carolinas], but there will still be some lingering showers. Any additional rainfall will exacerbate a terrible, catastrophic flooding event, but the heavier and steadier rains are over now," Kottlowski said.

florence infographic

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