Scary Hurricane Florence Facts by the Numbers

Breaking down the expected impact of this historic storm.
Scary Hurricane Florence Facts by the Numbers
Image credit: NASA and ESA | Getty Images

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Update: made landfall as a Category 1 on Friday and is expected to slowly move over parts of the Carolinas all weekend. In a press conference,  Gov. Roy Cooper warned, "The storm is going to continue its violent grind across our state for days." 

The predictions are not good: massive flooding, destructive winds, life-threatening storm surges and tornadoes are expected as Hurricane Florence heads for the southeast coast of the United States. The storm was downgraded to a category 2 hurricane, but experts are warning -- and pleading with residents in evacuation zones -- to take the situation as deadly serious.

Explaining the difference between a category 3 and category 2 storm, Jeff Byard, an administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, told reporters, “Do you want to get hit with a train or do you want to get hit with a cement truck?” 

Here is a breakdown of Hurricane Florence and its expected effects:

  • 400 miles: the storm's diameter, which is approximately the size of four Ohios put together
  • 110 mph: top expected speed when it makes landfall
  • 12 mph: speed the storm is moving
  • 40 inches: rainfall expected in hardest hit areas
  • 13 feet: predicted storm surge height
  • 1.7 million: people in evacuation zones
  • 5.25 million: people who live in affected areas
  • 4: number of category 3 of higher hurricanes that have made landfall between Norfolk, Va., and Savannah, Ga., since 1950
  • $10 million: amount recently diverted from to pay for ICE detention centers and deportation efforts
  • $30 billion: projected damages according to AccuWeather's Joel Myers
  • $15-$20 billion: expected losses covered by insurance
  • 1,000: number of commercial flights canceled (with more expected)

Read about storm and disaster preparedness for business owners here.

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