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Mon, Sep 15, 2014

The Story: The Damage

A boat was washed away and became wedged between two trees as a result of flooding after Hurricane Floyd in 1999.

A boat was washed away and became wedged
between two trees as a result of flooding after
Hurricane Floyd in 1999. Photograph by Martha
Daniel.

Along with the loss of homes, Hurricane Floyd created an agricultural nightmare. Unimaginable numbers of livestock from across Eastern North Carolina drowned in the flood - an estimated 30,000 hogs, 700,000 turkeys, and 2.4 million chickens. Officials were faced with the grim task of collecting the bodies and incinerating them to avoid a threat to public health. Thousands of farms were affected when the flood waters erased years of careful landscaping and planning of fields in a matter of a few short days.

Interview with Bert Pickett,
Whitestocking, NC - Hard to Receive

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It's not as easy to provide data on the emotional and psychological impact of the storm. Oral histories with storm survivors record their feelings of shock, devastation, anger, and hopelessness at the thought of starting over with nothing. Researchers at the University of North Carolina made a revealing and tragic discovery in the months after the flooding. Head injuries for infants in the affected areas increased dramatically in the 6 months following Hurricane Floyd, and experts believe this may be a result of the stress and unstable living environments caused by the disaster.