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Old 06-18-2006, 07:46 PM
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Another question....how bad are the affects of hurricanes in Raleigh? I know if living on the coast then big concern, but how badly do they affect the Raleigh region?
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Old 06-18-2006, 08:07 PM
Location: Florida
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Someone posted pictures I saw....and....WOW!
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Old 06-18-2006, 10:43 PM
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I've lived about 20 - 25 miles south and southeast of Raleigh my entire life (nearly 40 years) and the only hurricane that I can remember doing major damage to this area (and I'm closer to the beach than Raleigh is) was Fran back in 1996. We normally just get strong wind and heavy rain from hurricanes, which sometimes causes some flooding, but Fran did a lot of damage to buildings and took down TONS of trees. We did just take a rain beating from Alberto last week that caused some minor flooding, but I don't think too many people are complaining because it got us out of the drought that plagued us last year.
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Old 06-19-2006, 05:45 AM
Location: Snow Hill, NC
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Well, Alberto made landfall in Florida and the remanents came into Raleigh dumping 7 inches of rain and flooding the place. I am in Greene County and we are still waiting a week later for Contenanea Creek to crest. Nash County flooded as well. Raleigh is far from immuned to hurricanes. At least not since we entered this active phrase that we went into in 1996. Hurricane Fran of 1996 did nearly as much damage in Raleigh as it did in the coastal areas that were 2-3 counties inland and Raleigh is a good 175 miles from the actual coast.
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Old 06-19-2006, 07:29 AM
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Alberto was odd in the sense that the remnants of the Tropical Storm came up, and PARKED its fat butt right over Wake County for several hours before moving on. So we had flooding. But DO take note: only properties near streams and/or in floodplains suffered flooding. But that's expected. So don't judge how Raleigh fares under hurricanes based on [u]that[u]. Those kinda scenerios can hit anywhere in the state...even the Mountain towns (if they're in valleys near rivers).
Lesson from this: don't build (or buy) in or near floodplains or streams. It's just plain DUMB. If you don't know whether the house you're looking at falls into that category, contact the city/county. Or at least look at a topographic map.

A better idea is go back to 1996 when Fran hit. Not that much flooding in Raleigh, although there was some. But the major damage was wind knocking down trees onto houses & power lines. A storm like that hits maybe once or twice a generation here from what some old-timers tell me. (An occasional ice storm in the winter will have similar effects.)
Fran was an unusually strong storm that stayed pretty intense deep inland. Not a common occurrence. But it can happen.

Last edited by RaleighRob; 06-19-2006 at 07:32 AM..
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Old 06-19-2006, 07:31 AM
Location: Snow Hill, NC
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Oh and when they track a storm, they only track the actual point of landfall that the eye comes in at. The damage around the storm can exceed well over 100 miles in all directions from the actual classified landfall area. That is why the damage field is more than what people realize. You don't have to be in the zone that the eye hits to receive damage. And I guess that if you haven't lived through one of these storms, that can be misleading. A better take of the storm is to watch the wind fields that they provide. Then you would be better able to access when to stay and when to go. In recent years I have heard of damage way up in the mountains of North Carolina. It is not just a coastal event any more. Although you can bet if it hit directly at the coast some damage is just about a 100% certainity. So unless you are planning to put a toe tag on or write your Social Security number up and down your leg or arm when they tell you to evacuate, I would definitely leave and leave early. There is nothing anymore unnerving than trying to get off the Outer Banks during a mandatory evacuation with one road in and out with grid lock. And like Rob said, trees were coming down in droves from what I saw of Raleigh during Fran. She by far I believe did the most damage in Raleigh in recent years. Floyd of 1999 was no picnic either but it mainly got the 43 counties on the coastal plain. There are a lot of good sites with hurricane history. My best advice is if you are told to leave, heed the advice. Don't be sorry once the storm hits that you didn't heed the advice of people that have either lived here their entire lives or the experts. They are not telling you something just to hear themselves talk. They pretty much have it together.

Last edited by Bethanytedder; 06-19-2006 at 07:34 AM..
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Old 06-19-2006, 09:19 AM
Location: Houston, TX
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This is all interesting information about hurricanes in NC. I live in Houston and last year when Rita was rambling all over the Gulf Coast and couldn't make up her mind where to land, this city experienced its first-ever mass evacuation and it was a nightmare! My husband and I loaded our rented mini-van with ourselves and 5 cats and all the supplies necessary to sustain ourselves and the kitties. Our house is situated on what became a major route to the freeway out of town but we were only able to go 3 miles in 3 hours (with no A/C and overheating cats) and finally decided that the hurricane couldn't be any worse than the evacuation. So as soon as we inched our way to a turn-around, we headed back - it took about 5 minutes to get back to our house. As it turned out we didn't even get any real rain but the city was shut down for days with no gas, no groceries and massive traffic jams of people trying to return. We had been trying to get to a friend's house west of Austin where we were offered a large covered porch for the animals and a nice guest room for us. That experience has taught many of us to "run from the water and hide from the wind" which is what we will do the next time, no matter where that next time happens to be. Honestly, there just isn't any reasonable way to evacuate a city of over four million people.
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Old 06-19-2006, 06:24 PM
Location: Snow Hill, NC
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Another aspect of hurricane phases are that they tend to enter inactive and active phases. During the 50's, they may as well have painted a bull's eye on North Carolina and said here we are. In a short time starting in 1954 with Cat. 4 Hazel, we were hit by Edna, Carol, Gloria, and so it went until around 1962 maybe. After that, things leveled off and the 60's for the most part were kinda quiet. The 70's weren't all that bad. But once Hugo hit in 1989 and really starting in 1996 with Bertha, Fran, 1998 with Bonnie, 1999 with Dennis hitting us twice in a two week period followed by Floyd in Sept, 1999, then in 2002 Tropical Storm Kyle spawned tornadoes in Johnston County that did extensive damage and while it wasn't wide spread, my MIL happened to be in the area that it hit. In 2003 Isabelle came and she even carved out a new inlet they said up in the Abermarle Sound region I believe it was. Since 1996 the storms have been more frequent, stronger, and have done things that normal hurricanes don't usually do. Check out the track of 2004 Hurricane Ivan. He was indeed Ivan the terrible. Florida has taken the brunt over the past two seasons but the rest of the coastal areas are far from immuned from having a catastropic storm. There has even been talk of another repeat of the 1921 Long Island Express that hit New York. The Atlantic is not as warm as it was last year this time that was the worse hurricane season on record since reliable records have been kept in the past 151 years. Another thing to remember is that a lot of shelters have no facilities for pets. That is another reason that if you are going to evacuate or have no other choice is to get out early and plan ahead. Now is the time to do it. Not when you are looking down the business end of a Cat. 4 or 5 storm that they have just issued the hurricane warnings for. I don't think they even issue the warnings and watches until about 36 prior to EXPECTED landfall of the eye. Remember the winds and rain can precede the actual eye by several hours in a large storm such as Katrina. And if wait for the eye to get there, you might be waiting a while and never get the eye but the wind field and storm surge on the coast can kill you long before the eye even gets there. Here are a few of the local stations in North Carolina for you to watch if you need them.

Greenville, NC WNCT Channel 9
Washington, NC WITN Channel 7
Raleigh, NC WRAL Channel 12

The Weather Channel does a tropical update every hour on the hour at :50 after the hour. This is channel 362 on Direct Satellite and Channel 214 on Dish Network. Well, at least this is the stations in the eastern part of the state. You would do well to educate yourself before next month if you have any doubts about what and how these storms work. They are divided into several stages:

When the storm get to 35 MPH, the storm is called a Tropical Depression

At 39 MPH-the storm is classified a tropical storm as is named in a rotating system of names that have been in practice starting in 1953 with all female names and in 1979, they started naming them with male names as well. These names are used and reused every 6 years until a storm causes such damage that for sensitivity sake and historical purposes the storm name is retired. Last year Katrina, Emily, Stan, Wilma, and Rita were retired. That means there will never be another storm with that name ever again. Tropical Storm Allison that hit Houston in 2001 is the only Tropical Storm that has the distinction to have been retired due to massive flooding.
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Old 06-19-2006, 06:25 PM
Location: Snow Hill, NC
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Cat. 1 74-95 MPH Winds this is the low end of the pole capable of limb damage, minor roof damage, broken glass and flying objects as the kid's trampolines.

Cat. 2 96-110 MPH Winds in this range as predicted are stronger and capable of more damage than a one. Although any tropical storm can spawn tornadoes. It is just the nature of the beast.

Cat. 3 111-130 MPH After a storm reaches this level, it is classified as a major hurricane and most places will be told to evacuate that are in the damage path or where the eye comes inland.

Cat. 4 131-155 MPH This is a bad situation and one that needs to be taken seriously. Any number of things can go bad here from coastal and inland flooding from heavy rain and heavy, heavy wind damage. The powers lines are down, huge trees can be uprooted, roofs literally taken off, nearer the coast most people board up the windows with plyboard to prevent breakage. I have seen people tape the windows. Save the tape. It doesn't work.

Cat 5 anything greater than 155 MPH- This is a storm that you just get the heck out of the way until it leaves. No questions asked. You might ask questions during a 3 and even a 4 if you are far enough from the coast to consider staying behind. Although living 90 miles from the coast I would never stay during a 4 or a 5 and after Fran that was a Cat. 3, I would probably leave for a 3 now. Remember once the storm gets in motion, you are on your own. Expect to be on your own for at least 72 hours after the storm. There is no 911 that can help you. If you stay behind after being told to evacuate, you may make the last mistake of your life. You will need to be prepared with a supply of water and food for everyone with you. Medications need to be refilled, any money you might need from the ATM needs to be taken out before the storm hits. After the power goes out, there is no gas stations and no ATM. Most places in North Carolina have marked evacuation routes along the highways. But I wouldn't totally depend on them. I would be thinking about alternate routes that might not be as crowded as the prearranged ones. Most schools will set up shelters in places for people who can't get out. But this is far from ideal as Hurricane Katrina taught us. Hospitals and other long term facilities usually have a disaster plan but even that can fall by the wayside in cases of a Cat 3,4 or 5 storm.

The main thing is be prepared, stay alert, do what the experts tell you in the form of leaving, do it early, take care of easily blown objects so they don't become projectiles like lawn furniture, kiddie pools, trampolines, etc., and have a plan. Know when you are going to leave, what to take such as insurance papers and proof of residency. Once you are allowed back in if you leave, you will need ID to establish proof of residency in order to get back in. Take the insurance papers with you so you can file a claim if you need to early on. Don't forget the pets. Take them with you or arrange for them to have shelter somewhere out of harms way. This is going to be harder with farm animals like cattle, pigs, turkeys, chickens and the like. And unfortunately I have no real advice on that one. We have a Hurricane buddy system. By that I mean I took my family's names down with a phone number listed. I call the name under my name with all available numbers numbers until I assert that this person and their children are okay. The person below me does the same until we are certain that everyone is accounted for. It is up to me and my two sisters to contact each other within the first 8 hours if possible to make sure that my three children and family and my mother are okay. Once we take care of our own, everyone gets accounted for once the three of us make the last contact. Afterwards, we do all we can for people that hit harder than we are. We have yet to be completely and totally wiped out although 3/4 of the county that I live in has been. The responsibilty fell to us to help in anyway we could. They had shelters but shelters can't do everything. Simple things are a big help. Games for the kids, cots, food that is going to spoil if it isn't cooked is another way to help out. When a community pulls together instead of against each other, believe me it goes a lot easier for all concerned. I have to say I am proud of where I live. When Floyd came through, it brought out the best in people. I don't recall any looting and the like. Here is a link that will explain it better so you can have an idea what to expect.

http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/readiness/hurricane_categories.htm (broken link)

Last edited by Bethanytedder; 06-19-2006 at 06:28 PM..
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