" And the fire department came to my house honking the horn at two thirty in the morning and said "You've got to evacuate. Water is rising." My wife says, "What are we going to do?" I said, "Honey, the water's not going to come over that hayfield out there. No way." So we went back to sleep."
Nervous coastal residents watched as the storm made its way north. Satellite photos showed that Floyd was almost three times larger in diameter than 1992's Hurricane Andrew, also a category 5 storm. Millions of residents of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas fled inland to avoid the storm. As it approached land, Floyd slowed down, and by the time it made landfall at Cape Fear in the early morning hours of September 16, the storm had been downgraded to a category 2 hurricane.
North Carolinians held their breath as Floyd passed, bringing damaging winds and sending at least ten tornados spiraling across the coast. Many residents examined the moderate initial damage from Floyd, counted themselves lucky, and went back to bed.