It's a storm that, like a handful of previous storms, no longer needs "hurricane" in front of it. When someone in Onslow says "Florence," people know exactly what they're talking about.
While the storm was expected to hit as a Category 4 hurricane, the lessened Category 1 still made a lasting impact on Eastern North Carolina when the impacts began on Sept. 13. An estimated 1,100 evacuated by bus or caravan to inland shelters with the help of the county prior to Florence's landfall and another 479 moved into Onslow County shelters once they opened, The Daily News reported. A total of 35 Onslow County schools were damaged, nine of them listed has having "major impacts," and some students were out of school for a month.
Overall Onslow County was estimated to have $1 billion in damages.
The National Weather Service reported a record-breaking storm surge of 9-to-13 feet and 20-to-30 inches of rain, though Swansboro topped even that, reporting 34 inches. Wind gusts in some areas, like Fort Macon, were reported as 105 mph.
With the 2019 hurricane season here, we're taking a look back at photos, videos, and stories from Hurricane Florence.
It's true for most that unless you lived through it, fully understanding the impacts of Hurricane Florence for Onslow County can be difficult, but the photos below — some of many taken in September 2018 — help stand as a reminder of the historic storm. Click on the links below to view the top 5 most-viewed photo galleries from Florence.
Photos from Swansboro
Jacksonville as Florence leaves area
Florence flooding in Jacksonville
Hurricane Florence contributed photos
North Topsail Beach's Hurricane Florence damage
Facing the floods
Flooding was one of the biggest problems faced by the community. The National Weather Service reported as of 2 p.m. on Sept. 17, Swansboro reported 34 inches of rain, followed by Jacksonville with 25 inches, and Emerald Isle and Maysville with 23 inches each. Click on the links below for a look at how flooding impacted the area.
Flooding expected to be an issue for days, weeks
Photos: Flooding around Onslow
Florence flooding leaves some residents 'back down to nothing'
Flooding from record rainfall, storm surge legacy of Hurricane Florence
Photos: Florence flooding in Jacksonville
Hurricane Florence arrests
Several people were arrested in relation to Hurricane Florence, both during the storm and after — some of whom have been charged recently in connection with fraud cases. Click on the links below to take a look at five of the criminal cases connected with the storm.
Four arrested for looting in Holly Ridge
Man charged with misdemeanor larceny after Freedom Fountain theft
Looting, larceny some of charges after the storm
Onslow resident charged with insurance fraud
Man accused of not completing Hurricane Florence repairs after being paid
Stories from the storm
For some, getting back to normal wasn't easy. There were some community members not even in a flood zone who had to deal with flooded homes, and tarps attached to roofs can still be found throughout Onslow County. Hotel rooms were booked for weeks as temporary homes for those who couldn't live in their black-mold-filled houses or had to vacate while home repairs were done. Here are just a handful of the many stories from the storm.
Families displaced by Florence find new 'normal'
Displaced residents still waiting to get home two months after Hurricane Florence
Shrimpers talk storm damages, losses
Florence-displaced family makes best of hotel life at Christmas
Local hotels still serving as home away from home
Rescues, and helping hands
What stood out for many about Florence wasn't just the destruction and damage, though. The community rallied in the face of hardship. Click on the links below to read about some of the many ways neighbors helped neighbors, view photos of first responders rescuing those in need, and see how those who were hit hardest were given a helping hand.
Photos: Rescuers at work in Onslow
College students from Kentucky aid in Florence repairs
Photos: Feeding the hungry
Samaritan's Purse brings relief to Onslow County
Hurricane Florence recovery continues in Onslow