Hurricane Florence Damage in North Carolina Reaches $17B

November 19, 2018

Hurricane Florence is estimated to have caused almost $17 billion in damage in North Carolina, according to a statement from Governor Roy Cooper’s office.

An Oct. 31 updated damage estimate from the North Carolina Office of State Budget and Management shows the storm caused nearly $17 billion in damage, up from a previous estimate of $13 billion. The updated figure is based on data from the North Carolina Department of Insurance. Damage estimates may continue to change.

Hurricane Florence made landfall on Sept. 14 as a Category 1 storm in North Carolina. More than 30 inches (76 centimeters) of rain from Florence fell in some parts of North Carolina, and along with the storm surge, caused widespread flooding that damaged tens of thousands of homes and other buildings.

The original $13 billion figure was based on estimates and projections. Updated figures will be based on actual inspection data as it becomes available.

Compared to previous storms in North Carolina, damage from Hurricane Florence is historic, the statement said. Hurricane Matthew caused $4.8 billion in damages and when adjusted for inflation, Hurricane Floyd caused between $7 and $9.4 billion in damages, meaning that Florence has caused more damage than Matthew and Floyd combined.

As of Oct. 31, more than 130,000 people had registered with FEMA for individual assistance and over $108 million had been approved for homeowners and renters. Small Business Administration loans were approved for nearly 400 hurricane-affected small businesses.

The North Carolina Legislature approved a $400 million recovery package last month, with an additional $450 million set aside for future needs.

Cooper said he’s been visitng with those affected by the storm and, “it’s clear that we have to recover smarter and stronger to better withstand future storms.”