Hurricane Florence was one of the most terrifying storms of the year. On Sept. 13, Florence surged to a Category 2 hurricane, near the Carolina coastline. Some meteorologists say the storm was more than 500 miles wide. With winds over 120 miles per hour, Hurricane Florence centered around Wilmington, and at one point veered as far south as Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, 130 miles away.
More than 40 people died in the storm due to dramatic winds and intense flooding. Hurricane Florence caused nearly over $38 billion in damage. Some rivers in Carolina rose up to 21 feet, flooding roads and ponds. Streets were flooded in waters that were 5-8 feet deep. More than 400 people where trapped in their homes. About 70 miles from Myrtle Beach, civilians experienced heavy flooding.
The Coastal Federation said coastal swimming waters “contaminated with polluted runoff carry bacteria, parasites and viruses that can cause many types of illnesses from minor to severe infections.” Illnesses include bacterial infections, earaches, hepatitis, skin rashes and respiratory issues. Flooding caused drinking water to be contaminated due to the overflow of manure pits, coal ash pits, water treatment plants and other sources.
Due to large amount of flooding, swarms of giant-sized mosquitos known as “gallinippers” have been spotted in parts of North Carolina. They lay their eggs in heavy rain and are three times bigger than average mosquitoes. Farmers’ crops had an heavy impact in the storm. Nearly 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians were deployed with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats to help people evacuate the storm.