Hurricane Florence was a powerful and long-lived Cape Verde hurricane that caused catastrophic damage in the Carolinas in September of 2018, primarily as a result of freshwater flooding. Florence dropped a maximum total of 35.93 inches of rain in Elizabethtown, North Carolina, becoming the wettest tropical cyclone recorded in the Carolinas.
On September 10 and 11, the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia all issued mandatory evacuation orders for some of their coastal communities, predicting that emergency personnel would be unable to reach people there once the storm arrived.
Most major roads and highways in the area experienced some flooding, with large stretches of I-40, I-95, and US Route 70 remaining impassable for days after the storm had passed. The city of Wilmington was cut off entirely from the rest of the mainland by floodwaters.
At least 54 deaths were attributed to the storm.
Six Brothers Disaster Relief mounted a staggered response to Hurricane Florence with two of our brothers arriving in Wilmington BEFORE the storm hit. This allowed them to do immediate triage work following the storm and request additional supplies from brothers who were still enroute to the region.
The city of Wilmington was cut off entirely from the rest of the mainland by floodwaters hours after our full team arrived, reinforcing the need for relief volunteers to be in place before a storm arrives, if possible.
In this trip, we were able to assist 39 homeowners, opened up 23 city streets, and spent a combined 374 man hours on the ground!