Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence brought widespread impacts to the Carolinas, from life-threatening storm surge and coastal flooding to extreme rains and catastrophic inland flooding. Learn more about this historic storm and its aftermath in this series of blog posts from our climate scientists and experts.


North Carolina hog CAFO in Hurricane Florence floodwaters, September 18, 2018. Photo: Larry Baldwin, Crystal Coast Waterkeeper/Waterkeeper Alliance

In a Warming World, Carolina CAFOs Are a Disaster for Farmers, Animals, and Public Health

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, I’ve joined millions who’ve watched with horror as the Carolinas have been inundated with floodwaters and worried about the various hazards those waters can contain. We’ve seen heavy metal-laden coal ash spills, a nuclear plant go on alert (thankfully without incident), and sewage treatment plants get swamped. But the biggest and most widely reported hazard associated with Florence appears to be the hog waste that is spilling from many of the state’s thousands of CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations), and which threatens lasting havoc on public health and the local economy.

And while the state’s pork industry was already under fire for its day-to-day impacts on the health and quality of life of nearby residents, Florence has laid bare the lie that millions of animals and their copious waste can be safely concentrated in flood-prone coastal areas like southeastern North Carolina. Read more >

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Homes and businesses are surrounded by water flowing out of the Cape Fear River in the eastern part of North Carolina Sept. 17, 2018, in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Mary Junell)

Hurricane Florence: One Week Later Here’s What We Know and Here’s What’s Next

, Policy Director and Lead Economist, Climate & Energy

On the morning of September 14, Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, bringing with it record storm surge and torrential, historic amounts of rain. A week later, communities across the Carolinas are struggling with the aftermath. At least 42 people have lost their lives thus far. Heavy, lingering rainfall has caused rivers to rise for days after the storm, leading to catastrophic flooding including in inland areas. Here’s what we know so far and what we can expect in the weeks and months to come.

Read more >

Photo by Sgt. Odaliska Almonte, North Carolina National Guard Public Affairs
NC DOT
U. S. Coast Guard photograph by Auxiliarist Trey Clifton/Released.
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La Guarda Nacional evacuando.

Los peligros escondidos del huracán ‘Florence’: mareas catastróficas e inundaciones al interior amenazan a comunidades rurales y de bajos recursos

, Policy Director and Lead Economist, Climate & Energy

En el transcurso de los últimos días, el huracán ‘Florence’ se ha intensificado rápidamente. Mantiene una trayectoria directa hacia Carolina del Norte, como una tormenta de Categoría 4. Esta tormenta es particularmente riesgosa dado el pronóstico de lluvias fuertes y persistentes que amenazan no solo a las áreas costeras, sino también a comunidades del interior. Read more >

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Photo: NASA

Hurricane Florence Threatens East Coast Electricity Infrastructure

, Energy analyst

Hurricane Florence is bearing down on the Mid Atlantic and by every measure it’s poised to be an extremely dangerous event—lashing winds, storm surge reaching 9 to 13 feet, and inland flooding from 20 to 30 inches of rain, and possibly even 40 inches in select locations. All this will be occurring in an area that has been experiencing above-average precipitation, meaning saturated soils less able to absorb incoming water and trees that are more likely to fall.

Read more >

Photo: NASA
U.S. Energy Information Administration
UCS analysis
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The North Carolina National Guard prepares for Hurricane Florence

The Hidden Dangers of Hurricane Florence: Catastrophic Storm Surge and Inland Flooding Threatens Rural and Low-Income Communities

, Policy Director and Lead Economist, Climate & Energy

Over the last few days, we have watched with deepening dismay as the forecast for Hurricane Florence has turned increasingly grim. This rapidly intensifying hurricane is now on a trajectory to come ashore somewhere along the southeast coast, likely in North Carolina, potentially as a Category 4 storm. What heightens the risks of this storm is the forecast of days of lingering heavy rain, threatening not just coastal but also inland areas. Read more >

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