Hurricane Florence Information

As Hurricane Florence closes in on North Carolina, check this page and the other resources linked below for the latest information about the storm.

Storm Details

Current Satellite Imagery

Local National Weather Service Offices

NC Department of Public Safety
Florence Information Page

NC Emergency Management
Updated information on Facebook and Twitter

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do to prepare?
No matter where you are in the state, you should be ready for Florence's impacts, including the potential loss of power and flash flooding. Follow these steps from the National Hurricane Center, including preparing a supplies kit, and stay tuned to your local National Weather Service office online or via a NOAA weather radio for updated information before, during, and after the storm.

When and where in North Carolina will Florence hit?
Because Florence is such a large storm, at least some impacts are likely all across the state. The southern coast will see a prolonged period of hurricane-force winds, storm surge, and intense rainfall possibly totaling more than one foot. Inland, tropical storm-force wind gusts, heavy rain, and isolated tornadoes are possible. The western part of the state is expected to receive high precipitation totals that could cause localized flooding as the remnants of Florence move through on Sunday and Monday.

How long will Florence's impacts last?
With no fronts or upper-level systems around to immediately move the storm away, Florence will likely stall out across the state for several days. While its winds should weaken during this time, the risk of flooding due to extremely heavy rainfall will only increase. The remnants of Florence may not fully leave the state until early next week.

How strong will Florence get?
Florence reached its maximum strength as a high-level Category 4 storm last week. It is expected to remain a Category 1 or 2 hurricane until it moves inland on Friday night or Saturday morning.
Damage from Fran's storm surge on North Topsail Beach. (Image by the Army Corps of Engineers)

How many major hurricanes have made landfall in North Carolina?
Since record-keeping began in 1851, 4 storms have made landfall in North Carolina at major-hurricane intensity. In the late 19th century, the "Great Beaufort Hurricane" of 1879 and the "San Ciriaco Hurricane" of 1899 hit the Outer Banks as Category 3s.

In 1954, Hazel became our only known landfalling Category-4 hurricane when it hit near the North Carolina-South Carolina border. And in 1996, Fran was a Category 3 when it made landfall at Cape Fear. Another noteworthy encounter with a major hurricane came in 1958, as Helene passed within 10 miles of Cape Fear as a Category 4.

What does a major hurricane impact look like?
Along the coast, the high winds and storm surge generally cause widespread destruction, especially in the right front quadrant of the storm. In Hazel, the surge of up to 18 feet leveled towns and piers along the southern coast, and Fran brought a surge of 9 to 12 feet to much of the coast. Both Hazel and Fran produced hurricane-force wind gusts as far inland as Raleigh, which resulted in numerous fallen trees and power lines.

What makes Florence different from those storms?
Instead of moving through the state less than 24 hours after it arrived, Florence will stick around for a while. This storm is capable of producing extremely high precipitation totals across much of the state, possibly totaling several feet in some locations. Inland flooding is responsible for more than half of all hurricane-related deaths, which makes this storm all the more threatening.

What is the state record for precipitation during a tropical storm?
Hurricane Floyd produced 24.06 inches of rainfall in Southport from September 14-17, 1999. More recently during Hurricane Matthew in 2016, an observer near Evergreen in Columbus County reported 18.95 inches of rain from the storm.