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Hurricane Floyd

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Hurricane Floyd posed a grave threat to the US coast, when it was a powerful Category 4 monster, which prompted millions of people to evacuate the long stretch of coast. Fortunately it weakened before it made landfall in the wee hours of Sept 16th, and did not do nearly as much damage as it could have. Even so, it was blamed for over 40 deaths and perhaps $1 billion in losses, much due to flooding. Floyd showed some remarkable structure along the edge of the eye near sunrise on Sept 13th. 13 Sept: Very rare indeed! This is the elusive "concentric eye" or double eye that you sometimes hear about. You can see a very distinct circle that makes up the "inner eye", with a heavy band surrounding it (the "outer eye"). Eventually this inner eye wall became weaker and disappeared, and the entire hurricane became temporarily weaker during this cycle. Floyd brought flooding rains, high winds and rough seas along a good portion of the Atlantic seaboard from the 14th through the 18th of September. The greatest damages were along the eastern Carolinas northeast into New Jersey, and adjacent areas northeastward along the east coast into Maine. ...read more.


In its wake, the storm left an astonishing path of destruction. Many trees that had withstood the elements for decades were standing in waterlogged soil and got pushed over like bowling pins. But the costliest damage came not from the storm itself-it came from the swiftly rising rivers and creeks that course through eastern North Carolina like a dense cluster of capillaries connecting the Piedmont Region to the Atlantic Ocean. Floyd developed very slowly. Although it became a tropical storm, the sixth named storm of the year, the storm was in no hurry to develop further. It had very favourable conditions over it, but Floyd took his time in getting its act together. There was high pressure aloft over it, and outflow was very healthy. A trough to its west further enhanced the outflow of Floyd. This was the same trough that finally brought Dennis to shore a few days earlier. This trough was shearing the storm, preventing it from getting better organized. Finally, on Friday, September 10th, Floyd became the fourth hurricane of the season. It was still west of the Leeward Islands when it became a hurricane. ...read more.


Well, finally, after much anticipation, Floyd began to turn to the north about 400 miles southeast of Miami, Florida. Over time, the storm would parallel the coast, and begin to pick up forward motion. More good news was the fact that Floyd was peaking in strength. It had developed concentric eyes, which in some cases weakens the storm a bit. In the United States, the Property Claims Services Division of the Insurance Services Office reports that insured losses due to Floyd totalled 1.325 billion dollars. Ordinarily this figure would be doubled to estimate the total damage. However, in comparison to most hurricane landfalls, in the case of Floyd there was an inordinately large amount of freshwater flood damage, which probably alters the two to one damage ratio. Total damage estimates range from 3 to over 6 billion dollars. After Floyd, more than 70,000 people registered for disaster assistance, according to the agency. There were 48,754 requests for disaster housing assistance and FEMA's latest report says that about 88 percent of the homes hit by the storm have now been inspected as part of the processing of these requests. These pictures show just some of the damage cause by hurricane Floyd. ...read more.

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