As Hurricane Florence continues to barrel toward the Carolinas, those in its path are reminded of other major storms that devastated the area and cost billions to the coastal towns.
As it continues toward the Carolinas, Hurricane Florence has intensified to a Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of about 140 mph.
Those warily watching Florence have compared it to Hurricanes Fran and Hugo, which pummeled North Carolina and South Carolina, respectively, more than two decades ago.
“It’s not exactly comparable to Hugo, but it is forecast to be a major hurricane making landfall, so in that sense it will be like Hugo,” National Weather Service meteorologist Jake Wimberley told The Charlotte Observer.
Read on for a look at other major hurricanes that made landfall in North and South Carolina.
Hurricane Matthew; 2016
Deemed the “most powerful storm of the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season” by the National Weather Service, Hurricane Matthew hit South Carolina on Oct. 8, 2016, near McClellanville – located in between Charleston and Myrtle Beach. Matthew hit South Carolina as a Category 1 storm and caused about $10.6 billion in damage – mostly due to flooding – from Florida to North Carolina. The storm resulted in the deaths of 25 people in North Carolina and four in South Carolina, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Once a powerful Category 5 hurricane, Matthew had weakened by the time it hit South Carolina. However, wind gusts were still recorded as high as 87 mph on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
Hurricane Irene; 2011
When it made landfall near Cape Lookout, North Carolina, on Aug. 27, 2011, Hurricane Irene was considered to be a strong Category 1 storm. Wind gusts were recorded as high as 115 mph on Carteret County, North Carolina, during the storm, according to the National Weather Service.
Overall, five people died in North Carolina from the storm. It also cost about $15.4 billion in damage as it traveled up the East Coast of the United States.
Hurricane Isabel; 2003
Hurricane Isabel had transformed from a Category 5 to a Category 2 storm when it made landfall at the Ocracoke Inlet in North Carolina on Sept. 18, 2003.
Hurricane Floyd; 1999
As a Category 2 storm, Hurricane Floyd made landfall at Cape Fear, North Carolina, on Sept. 16, 1999. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 110 mph and brought massive storm surges, according to the National Weather Service.
Overall, Floyd cost $9.9 billion in damage due to flooding in several states along the East Coast – but most notably in North Carolina.
In North Carolina, 35 people died – mostly due to drowning in the flooding that occurred. In all, Hurricane Floyd was responsible for 57 deaths in the U.S. and the Grand Bahama Island.
Hurricane Bonnie; 1998
Hurricane Bonnie was a Category 2 storm when it made landfall on August 26, 1998 near Wilmington, North Carolina, according to the National Weather Service.
Bonnie was responsible for three deaths, including a 12-year-old girl who was killed when a tree fell into her home, The Washington Post reported at the time. Overall, Bonnie cost about $1.5 billion in damage as it ravaged North Carolina and Virginia.
Hurricane Fran; 1996
One of the most powerful hurricanes to hit North Carolina, Fran was a Category 3 storm when it made landfall around Cape Fear, North Carolina, on Sept. 5, 1996. While North Carolina bore the brunt of destruction from the storm, the size of Fran brought damage as far inland as Ohio, according to the National Weather Service.
Fran caused about $7.2 billion in damage at the time and was responsible for the deaths of 24 people in North Carolina, The News & Observer reported.
Hurricane Bertha; 1996
A Category 2 storm, Hurricane Bertha made landfall near Cape Fear, North Carolina on July 12, 1996. Overall, Bertha was responsible for 12 deaths, according to the National Weather Service.
Hurricane Hugo; 1989
One of the strongest hurricanes to ever hit South Carolina, Hugo made landfall on Sept. 22, 1989, near Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina as a Category 4 storm.
Hugo brought massive winds, leveling houses and businesses, tearing down trees and making roads impassable as it hit near Charleston. Overall, it caused $18.7 billion in damage as it wreaked havoc on the Carolinas specifically.
Hugo was blamed for at least 86 deaths, according to the National Weather Service.
Hurricane Gracie; 1959
When it barreled through the St. Helena Sound in South Carolina on Sept. 29, 1959, Hurricane Gracie was still a Category 4 storm, according to the National Weather Service.
While the storm hit in 1959, it was only designated a Category 4 storm by scientists in 2016, The Associated Press reported.
Gracie caused the deaths of 10 people in South Carolina and brought about $14 million worth of damage, according to The Associated Press.
Hurricane Hazel; 1954
Hurricane Hazel made landfall on the North and South Carolina border on Oct. 15, 1954, according to the National Weather Service. Then, Hazel was a powerful Category 4 hurricane with winds up to 150 mph that brought immense devastation.
An initial report said “all traces of civilization on the immediate waterfront between the state line and Cape Fear were practically annihilated,” according to the National Weather Service. Additionally, only five of the 357 buildings in Long Beach, North Carolina, reportedly remained after the storm.