Posted September 16, 2009
Updated September 27, 2012

Original air date: Sept. 16, 2009

It's been referred to as some as North Carolina's "Katrina."

Hurricane Floyd struck North Carolina on Sept. 16, 1999, just 10 days after Tropical Storm Dennis dumped 6 to 16 inches of rain across the eastern part of the state.

Floyd flooding Floyd

The ground was already saturated when Floyd dumped another 12 to 20 inches of rain. Rivers overflowed their banks and floodwaters began to cover roads and inundate entire communities.

Floyd killed 52 people in North Carolina – most of whom drowned as they tried to flee to higher ground in their cars. More than 87,000 people registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The floods destroyed about 8,000 homes and damaged more about 67,000. About 12,000 businesses were damaged.

The flooding caused about $6 billion in property damage and halted agricultural production in eastern North Carolina, causing more than $1 billion in farm losses. The floods killed nearly 3 million chickens and turkeys and more than 30,000 hogs.

Ten years later, many communities affected by the devastating floods still haven't fully recovered.

Hosted by WRAL News' Bill Leslie, “Floyd” looks back at North Carolina's worst natural disaster in modern history and revisits some of those communities hit hardest. The documentary also examines the storm’s lasting impact, advances in flood mapping, emergency response and other measures that have been taken to help the state better prepare for future floods.

Floyd revisited

A look back at some of WRAL News most memorable stories of Hurricane Floyd and its aftermath.

Floyd revisited: Rocky Mount flooding
Rocky Mount flooding
Floyd revisited: Seven Springs flooding
Seven Springs flooding
Floyd revisited: Wilson flooding
Wilson flooding
Floyd revisited: Wayne County flooding
Wayne County flooding
Floyd revisited: President Clinton in Tarboro
Clinton visits
Floyd revisited: Bill's BBQ reopens
Bill's BBQ reopens
Floyd revisited: Recovery
Floyd revisited: Environmental impact
Environmental impact

Key locations

View Hurricane Floyd in a larger map

Host: Bill Leslie
Clay Johnson
Photographer/Editor: Jay Jennings


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  • dmccall Aug 29, 2011

    It's hard to compare any N.C. storm to Katrina mainly because unlike New Orleans, we have competent leaders during times of need, and our citizens behave rationally. Katrina was a bad storm, but New Orleans responded in about the worst way a public can.

  • kayster58 Sep 16, 2009

    Shoot North Carolina's Katrina was Hurricane Hugo.