The National Weather Service in Morehead City compared Hurricane Matthew to 1999’s Hurricane Floyd in an update on Friday.
“This could be the worst flooding seen in Eastern NC since Hurricane Floyd!” the update read, noting the storm this weekend has the potential to create once-in-a-lifetime flooding.
But is it a fair comparison?
Onslow County Emergency Services Norman Bryson doesn’t think so.
“One of the things people need to remember about Floyd is Floyd had a precursor storm that came before it,” Bryson said.
Category 1 Hurricane Dennis rained on Onslow County, Bryson said, then circled out, came back around and dumped more rain.
Hurricane Floyd came on the heels of Hurricane Dennis and the major flooding event was caused by having multiple storms during such a short span of time, he said.
“So we don’t have that same situation, even though we’ve seen a lot of rain in Onslow County,” Bryson said.
He doesn’t believe the weekend flooding will be as bad as the 1999 storm, which created a “flooding catastrophe” in North Carolina, according to the National Weather Service. Rainfall amounts totaled more than 15 inches in a 24-hour period and Topsail Beach recorded peak wind gusts of 123-miles-per-hour.