CAROLINA BEACH — One of the most active and deadly hurricane seasons in history came to an end Monday. There were 10 hurricanes in 1998 which left a death toll of more than 11,000.
But here in North Carolina, we escaped major destruction. In North Carolina, 1998 was the year ofHurricane Bonnie.
She wasn't as destructive asHurricane Fran, but she stayed a long time. She also brought back a lot of bad memories from the storms of 1996. Carolina Beach has spent the last few months digging out from Bonnie.
Three months after Hurricane Bonnie pummeled Carolina Beach, the token blue tarps still adorn many damaged homes. But the streets are clear, streets which were covered with 3 feet of sand.
"We're looking to move this out of here onto the beach so we can return to as normal as we can," said Town Manager Calvin Peck.
Sand and water also found a way into people's homes. William Patrick lost everything.
"I walked in and looked around and decided there was no point to staying," said Patrick.
But thanks to help from friends and FEMA, his home has been completely restored.
"I rebuilt. My landlord was great, and friends helped me clean up," said Patrick.
The town police and fire department was not so fortunate. It must be relocated and rebuilt.
After surviving three hurricanes in two years, the people of Carolina Beach are happy when hurricane season ends.
Town leaders estimate that it will cost $750,000 to repair the roads and the water and sewer system in Carolina Beach.
FEMA should cover the bill, but this time around, FEMA says it is going to be much more prudent about giving money to homeowners who continue to rebuild in flood zones.
This year, we had the most deadly hurricane season in more than two centuries.
Fourteen tropical storms, including ten hurricanes, formed in the Atlantic. That's well over the annual average of ten tropical storms, with five or six reaching hurricane strength.
Although the hurricane season officially ended Monday, storms have occurred both earlier and later. The latest recorded hurricane was Dec. 31, 1954. The earliest was March 7, 1908.