North Carolina gets struck by two record breaking hurricanes in short succession

Emma Grace Lehmann, Pollster

The Atlantic coast of the U.S. was hit with two record breaking hurricanes during the 2018 hurricane season. Florence and Michael, both category four hurricanes, brought rainfall and winds speeds more intense than we have seen in recent years

Hurricane Florence was the first major hurricane in the 2018 season arriving early September. Winds reached 130 mph and the Carolinas got 35.93 inches of rain. Florence escalated quickly reaching 140 mph winds and a central pressure of 939 mbar by Sept. 10. Florence was considered the wettest hurricane to ever hit North Carolina.

More than 30 people and nearly 2 million farm animals died due to storm-related incidents. Along with this, the rain and winds destroyed homes, leaving many people homeless all across the Carolinas. Karl Lehmann is the owner of N.C. Construction Services which specializes in property restoration projects when homes are damaged by water or fire.

“The damage I’ve seen after the recent hurricanes has been worse than ever, it is absolutely devastating. I saw trees inside living rooms and basements that looked like swimming pools,” said Lehmann.

Thousands of establishments were destroyed during this storm and nearly 900,000 homes lost power. Most of these homes were flooded due to the record breaking rainfall.

“The recent hurricane has created a lot of work in the restoration industry. A large number of properties (residential and commercial) were damaged due to high winds, rain and falling trees,” said Lehmann.

Hurricane Michael arrived early October hitting Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia. Michael had peak winds of 155 mph and a central pressure at 919 millibars becoming the third-largest land falling hurricane in U.S. history. This hurricane caused more damage then Florence, leaving 39 people dead in America.

The governor of South Carolina, Henry McMaster, issued a mandatory evacuation order for the entire coast and a closure of public schools and state offices in 26 counties during Florence. During both hurricanes, a number of schools in North Carolina and Virginia also closed a day or so before to allow households time to prepare for the high winds and flooding rains.

Athens Drive High School took a bus of students to bring supplies to James Kenan High School after these devastating hurricanes. This school is located in Warsaw, N.C. which was one of the hardest hit areas in the state. The volunteers brought donated personal hygiene products to the families affected. Lauren Evancho, sophomore at Athens Drive High School, was one of the students who volunteered their day to help.

“We distributed supplies to people in the area and my group helped bring the supplies into a church area serving as a refuge where people can get supplies,” said Evancho.

“Even though all of the people were going through this troubling time they were able to make it through and though I saw a lot of destruction I also saw a lot of hope in the faces of resilience. I think overall it was a positive experience because I could see how blessed I was and I was glad to be able to help those affected by the hurricane,” said Evancho.

The east coast of the U.S. was hit with two major hurricanes in 2018 which combined, left close to 70 people dead and more than one million homes ruined.