Hurricane Florence 2018: What to Expect

Hurricane Florence, photo provided by US Department of Defense.
Hurricane Florence is going to be the biggest hurricane the eastern seaboard has seen in over a decade. Areas at risk currently are North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, and Maryland here’s what you can expect moving forward.

Hurricane Florence

The hurricane is currently has maximum sustained winds of 110 mph. The expectation is that the force of the winds and rain will be hitting in the late afternoon on Thursday, September 13th, 2018. The hurricane has weakened to a Category 2 but this does not mean it will be less deadly. The current expectation is that the hurricane will be damaging coastal cities over a three-day period. As of 8 AM Thursday, September 13th, 2018 Hurricane Florence is 205 miles southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, and 250 miles east-southeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Over 1,400 flights are being canceled due to the weather.

Images of Hurricane Florence 2018 provided by Alexander Gerst
Images of Hurricane Florence 2018 provided by Alexander Gerst

Construction and clean up companies will be making around the same amount of money insurance companies will be losing. A worst-case scenario by CoreLogic predicts over $170 billion in property damage. There are 759,000 homes in the storm’s path at the moment. Over 1 million people are evacuating with ferry services no longer servicing islands.


Rainfall is one of the most dangerous parts of a hurricane. One in four deaths is in relation to extreme rainfall during hurricanes. North Carolina alone expects to receive 10 trillion gallons of rainfall. Storm surge warnings are in effect from South Santee River, South Carolina to Duck, North Carolina. In addition to storm surges and flooding, there is the possibility of mudslides.

Older buildings in North Carolina are particularly at risk due to legislators ignoring warnings from the Coastal Resources Commission. Passing laws that effectively barred developers from using up-to-date building methods. The state has been aware of its low sea level and the damage storms can cause in the area. According to the National Hurricane Center, storm surges could reach up to 15 feet. The National Weather Service is stating that “this will likely be the storm of a lifetime.”

Earliest wind arrival times provided by NOAA
Earliest wind arrival times provided by NOAA

Real Estate

The most expensive areas to repair will be:

Virginia: Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and Newport News, with 346,573 properties at risk with a value of 79.93 billion.

North Carolina: Charleston and North Charleston, with 133,239 properties at risk with a value of 34.31 billion.

South Carolina: Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, and Conway with 93,660 properties at risk with a value of 16.94 billion.

With this in mind, the National Association of Realtors is asking Congress to enact a long-term reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program. The aim of this public program is to reduce the impact of flooding on both private and public structures. The program promotes flood insurance as well as general insurance. In addition, insurance agencies are preparing to lose at least one quarter’s worth of profit.

Farmers are harvesting as much as possible before the hurricane hits. They are stockpiling resources, moving livestock and securing generators. Flooding will damage any unharvested product which could negatively affect the agricultural market. Farmers often stay on their farms, weighing down and tying together large equipment so that it does not get carried off by the hurricane.


The hurricane is predicted to make landfall late in the afternoon today, Thursday, September 13th, 2018. It may slow as it reaches land which some would consider a good thing. However, the slower the hurricane moves over an area the longer the area is subject to hurricane force winds and rainfall. The term slowing is relative as yesterday afternoon Hurricane Florence was 435 miles southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina and today is only 205 miles out.

Predicted wind speeds provided by NOAA
Predicted wind speeds provided by NOAA

Emergency vehicles are high-top vehicles meaning they are at risk of tipping. For those that did not heed the evacuation warnings, emergency services will not be operating. At least not until the conditions are safe for emergency services to travel. Despite mandatory evacuations. some still remain behind by choice.




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