Sunday, May 20, 2007

Hurricane Preparedness Week

We're less than a month away from the official start of the 2007 hurricane season in the Atlantic basin, and now is the time to make sure we are all prepared. This week (May 20-26) has been set aside as Hurricane Preparedness Week. Over the coming days, you'll hear a lot about hurricane forecasts for this year and what coastal residents need to do to be prepared. It has been a while since North Carolina has been impacted by a major hurricane, but we still need to prepare for whatever may come our way this year. Even though we aren't located directly on the coast, we could still feel the affects of a tropical system here in central North Carolina.

One of the most significant tropical systems to make landfall in North Carolina in recent years was Hurricane Isabel in 2003. Isabel at one point over the Atlantic reached category 5 strength but weakened to a category 2 hurricane when it made landfall near Drum Inlet along the Outer Banks.

The strongest winds from Isabel were felt along the Outer Banks , but wind gusts over 50mph were felt in the Triangle.
Another significant storm that had a major impact on North Carolina was Hurricane Floyd in 1999.
Hurricane Floyd was also a category 2 storm when it made landfall along the North Carolina coast. The biggest problem from Floyd was from the storm's heavy rains over eastern North Carolina. Rain totals as high as 15 to 20 inches were reported in some locations. The flooding from Floyd was so extensive it could be seen on satellite --

Residents of the Triangle in the 1990s will also remember Hurricane Fran that made landfall along the North Carolina coast in 1996.

Fran was strong enough to produce hurricane force wind gusts in Raleigh resulting in downed trees and powerlines across the Triangle.

Forecasts for the 2007 hurricane season are for this year to be an active one, but there is no way to know for certain if North Carolina will be impacted like we were in 2003, 1999, or 1996. The best advice is to know about hurricane dangers and stay tuned to the latest forecasts through the season, which runs through November.

Count on News 14 Carolina for the very latest information all season long. You can catch our tropical updates at :21 after the hour every hour. We'll also have more information on how you can prepare for the upcoming season this week in special reports that will air at :43 after the hour.

You can also find more information online through these links --

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