Hurricane Fact Sheet

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Basic Facts

When made landfall in North CarolinaThursday, September 16, 1999, 6:30am
Where it made landfallCape Fear, New Hanover County, NC
How intenseCategory 2, peak gusts up to 138 mph

Other facts:

  • Hurricane Dennis passed through on 8/30/99, weakening trees and saturating the ground and rivers.
  • Hurricane Floyd developed from a Cape Verde wave (off the coast of W. Africa) to a hurricane on 9/10/99, and strengthened to a Category 5 hurricane over the Bahamas on 9/12/99.
  • Floyd dumped 15-23 inches of rain across several counties. The Tar River at Tarboro reached 40.9 feet, a record high. The previous record was at 34 feet in 1919. Flood stage is at 19 feet.

Facts related to damage caused in North Carolina:

Number of...
Human fatalities51
Swift-water rescue evacuations1,400
NC counties declared disaster areas 66 (out of 100)
US states declared disaster areas9
Customers who lost power1,500,000
Flooded wastewater treatment plants24
Dams destroyed7
Houses damaged54,000
Houses destroyed or uninhabitable16,674
Mobile homes for temp. housing2,536
Cost of damage to state highways$150,600,000
Cost of damage to drainage and sewage systems$75,300,000
Cost of agricultural losses$963,000,000
Dead hogs30,500
Dead chickens2,200,000
Dead turkeys737,000

Sources: North Carolina Humanities Council(pdf), NC Division of Emergency Management, and The Charlotte Observer

But don't take our word for it! Research this with your students. You may find different figures. Below is an example of how an internet search indicates that different news sources are not in agreement over similar facts:

The RundownTimes PicayuneSouthern CulturesCarolina Population Center
Rainfall totals15-20 in.  Exceeded 20 in.
Wind speed105 mph   
Deaths51 5151
Homes destroyed7000   7000
Homes damaged or uninhabitable73,00015,000 56,000
Lost power customers500,000 people 1.5 million people 
Land under water 18,000 square miles  
Homeless 10,000 people 100,000 people
Cost of damage  $6 million 
Counties declared disaster areas  6666
People in shelters  48,000 


Hurricane Floyd: Extended Flooding Created Challenges Afterward (1999). [Electronic Version]. The Rundown, Vol. 19 Number 38. Retrieved March 22, 2006 from

McQuaid, John, (2002). Seeking Shelter. Times-Picayune. [Electronic Version]. Retrieved March 22, 2006 from

Thompson, Charles, (2001). The Great Deluge: A Chronicle of the Aftermath of Hurricane Floyd. Southern Cultures 7.3 (2001) 65-82. [Electronic Version]. Retrieved March 22, 2006 from

Assessing the impact of Hurricane Floyd. (n.d.) Retrieved March 22, 2006, from