Florence Cost Billions

Report Reveals Full Scope of Damage

Evan Smith
February 11, 2019 - 3:06 pm

New data released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration this week confirmed what many Carolina residents already knew all too well: Hurricane Florence had a devastating impact.

From a sheer dollars and cents perspective, the tropical cyclone, which first made landfall back in September, caused more than $24 billion in damages. That’s about equal in cost to the California wildfires that raged for more than six months and killed 106 people.

But the report doesn’t even address the most damaging aspect of the storm for South Carolina, which occurred in the days after Florence, as a torrent of rain overran the watersheds and displaced hundreds of people in the Pee Dee and Horry County.

Derrec Becker, spokesman for the SC Emergency Management Dvision, told the Post and Courier that the state has so tallied $114 million in costs to the governments incurred by the disaster, and that FEMA has given out $23 million in assistance to residents of South Carolina who suffered damages from the storm.

Only Hurricane Michael, a Category 4 storm that hit the Florida panhandle back in October, has a higher price tag than Florence, albeit only slightly, racking up a total cost of $25 million.

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