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For hurricanes in North Carolina, F marks the spot

Some of state's costliest named storms started with F

In this NASA handout image taken by Astronaut Ricky Arnold, Hurricane Florence gains strength in the Atlantic Ocean as it moves west, seen from the International Space Station on September 10, 2018. Weather predictions say the storm will likely hit the U.S. East Coast as early as Thursday, September 13 bringing massive winds and rain. (Photo by NASA via Getty Images)
In this NASA handout image taken by Astronaut Ricky Arnold, Hurricane Florence gains strength in the Atlantic Ocean as it moves west, seen from the International Space Station on September 10, 2018. Weather predictions say the storm will likely hit the U.S. East Coast as early as Thursday, September 13 bringing massive winds and rain. (Photo by NASA via Getty Images) (Getty Images)

ORLANDO, Fla. – North Carolina, like Florida, has had its fair share of hurricanes, but there’s something about the storms that start with the letter F. 

That’s right, two of the top five costliest storms to hit the North Carolina coast -- Hurricanes Floyd and Fran -- have started with the letter.

With Hurricane Florence on the way, it could be the strongest F-named storm the state has ever seen. 

Hurricane Fran was the last major hurricane to slam the Tar Heel State coastline. It made landfall Sept. 5,1996 in Cape Fear as a Category 3 storm. 

The 137 mph wind gusts were just the beginning. 

The 12-foot storm surge washed away a police station and destroyed the Kure Beach and Emerald Isle piers. Total losses were close to $8 billion.

[HURRICANE TRACKER: Tracks, computer models, more | READ: 3 ideas to halt hurricanes]

Fran took a total of 26 lives, 14 of which happened in North Carolina, mainly from fallen trees. 

Hurricane Floyd barreled through the Bahamas as a Category 4 storm. 

Many Floridians may recall how frightening it was as the storm paralleled our coast, making landfall near Cape Fear as a Category 2 storm Sept. 16, 1999. 

An area of low pressure in addition to Floyd brought a whopping 19.06 inches of rain to the Wilmington area after Tropical Storm Dennis had already swept through the area two weeks earlier.

[READ: Hear tips from experts on how to prepare for hurricane season]

Floyd left behind $3-$6 billion in damages and took 50-56 lives due to the flooding. 

North Carolina has only been hit by one Category 4 hurricane since records started more than 150 years ago. 

That storm was Hazel, which arrived Oct. 15, 1954. 

The other two storms in the top five costliest are Hugo, a Category 1 storm, and Donna, which was a Category 3. 

So, despite the category of the storm, damages can be immense. It’s always better to be prepared -- not if, but when a storm comes. It only takes one to make it an active season for you. 

As for the F-named storms and North Carolina, we will be watching to see if Florence makes it to the top five list. 


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