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Hurricane Floyd

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Hurricane Floyd

Pactolus, NC 09/24/1999 -- Pactolus, just North of Greenville is accessible only by boat after Hurricane Floyd caused the flood-swollen Tar River to overflow its banks. Photo by Dave Gatley/FEMA News Photo

Although Hurricane Floyd had numerous tornados, a significant storm surge, and strong winds, the most significant damage from Hurricane Floyd resulted from flooding associated with Floyd's extremely high rainfall amounts. This rain fell on ground already saturated from Hurricane Dennis. The flooding impacts were felt far and wide along the eastern seaboard from South Carolina north to Maine. This web page will highlight areas that received significant flooding and show pictures of the widespread damage.

Flooding & Hydrographs Inundation Photographs

Residents who were unable to evacuate before the storm hit huddled for hours on rooftops or clung to trees, waiting for rescue after their homes were filled with water. Over 1,500 people were rescued in the 24 hours following the hurricane, and over 3,500 had been rescued by September 18, two days after Floyd made landfall. Many of these rescues were made by helicopter. So many rescue helicopters were crossing the skies searching for stranded storm survivors that the Coast Guard had to fly one chopper above the others to control the air traffic.

"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."
- Charles Russell English, Duplin County, NC

Flooding and Hydrograph Information

River Gauge
Information Description

The example to the right demonstrates the river gauge data that can be found in the map below. Click on different elements of the example to get a brief explanation of each. A hydrograph is avaible for most river gauges.
Example40.05N 76.28W
Conestoga River in the Conestoga Basin
Date Crest
9/17/1999 16.39ft (Major)
Flow Rate Flood Stage
17,600ft3/sec 11ft


Click for River Gauge information River Gauge Locations
Click for High Water Mark information High Water Marks
Click for Hurricane Floyd information Storm Track Information
Rainfall Estimation (in)
2 to 4 Inches of Rainfall 2 - 4 10 to 15 Inches of Rainfall 10 - 15
4 to 7 Inches of Rainfall 4 - 7 15 to 20 Inches of Rainfall 15 - 20
7 to 10 Inches of Rainfall 7 - 10 20 to 24 Inches of Rainfall 20 - 24
Map navigation can be performed by clicking and dragging, using the scroll wheel, or using the controls on the upper left.

Precipitation estimation is interpolated using sparse rain gauge data. This data is only meant to provide a rough estimate of the precipitation total caused by Floyd from South Carolina northward. For exact precipitation totals for sites impacted by Hurricane Floyd, please view the National Climatic Data Center's Floyd Summary under the heading "Data, Tables, and Maps".

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Inundation Photographs

Flooding in Franklin VA
Franklin, VA 9/21/1999 -- Hurricane Floyd left the downtown section of Franklin, VA under six feet of water. The water has begun to recede, as shown by the high- water marks, but hazards still include propane tanks, gas tanks, chemical barrels, and pesticides. Photo by: Liz Roll/FEMA News Photo

Hazmat workers in Franklin VA
Franklin, VA, September 22, 1999 -- Hazmat workers assess the situation in Franklin, VA, where an oil spill resulted from the Blackwater River jumping its banks after Hurricane Floyd. Photo by: Liz Roll/ FEMA News Photo

President Clinton talks with North Carolina residents
North Carolina September 20, 1999 -- President Clinton talks with North Carolina residents about Hurricane Floyd and the resulting flooding during his trip to the State. White House Photo

Aerial view of severe flooding
Edgecombe County, NC September 19, 1999 -- Aerial of severe flooding engulfing populated areas as a result of Hurricane Floyd. Photo by Dave Saville/ FEMA News Photo

Aerial view of severe flooding
Edgecombe County, NC September 19, 1999 -- Aerial of severe flooding engulfing populated areas as a result of Hurricane Floyd. Photo by Dave Saville/ FEMA News Photo

Flooding begins near Myrtle Beach SC
Myrtle Beach, SC September 16, 1999 -- Neighbors and on-lookers alike help move household contents to higher ground as flooding begins near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in the wake of Hurricane Floyd. The storm swept through the state, leaving many low-lying areas covered with water. Photo By Dave Saville/ FEMA News Photo

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