Hurricane Florence

North Carolina

September 2018

Hurricane Florence was a powerful and long-lived Cape Verde hurricane that caused severe damage in the Carolinas in September 2018, primarily as a result of freshwater flooding. Florence dropped a total of 35.93 inches (913 mm) of rain in Elizabethtown, N.C., becoming the wettest tropical cyclone recorded in the Carolinas, and also the eighth-wettest overall in the contiguous United States. The sixth named storm, third hurricane, and the first major hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, Florence originated from a strong tropical wave that emerged off the west coast of Africa on Aug. 30, 2018. Steady organization resulted in the formation of a tropical depression on the next day near Cape Verde. Progressing along a steady west-northwest trajectory, the system acquired tropical storm strength on Sept. 1 and fluctuated in strength for several days over open ocean. An unexpected bout of rapid intensification ensued on September 4–5, culminating with Florence becoming a Category 4 major hurricane on the Saffir–Simpson scale, with estimated maximum sustained winds of 130 mph (215 km/h).