From the Archives: Hurricane Floyd – 1999

Floyd rain totals
Floyd rain totals

On September 16-17, 1999, Hurricane Floyd raced up the Eastern Seaboard hitting everywhere from the Carolinas to New England with damaging winds and flooding rain. Floyd made landfall as a hurricane in Wilmington, NC on the morning of September 16. The storm produced 10-20″ of rain in North Carolina, leading to extreme flooding and more than 50 deaths in that state alone. The storm weakened as it passed over Eastern North Carolina, and it was becoming a tropical storm when it emerged over Virginia Beach then hugged the coast of Maryland.

Tropical Storm Floyd moved over Western Long Island, then just east of New Haven, CT. The main impacts in Rhode Island were flooding rain and strong winds. Most of RI saw 2-5″ of rain, with more than 7″ reported in Smithfield. There was minor flooding on the Pawtuxet River. Scattered power outages occurred, and in the pre-dawn hours of September 17 a generator at Rhode Island Hospital failed and one person died.

In Southeastern Massachusetts, a wind gust of 76 mph was reported at the New Bedford Hurricane barrier. Widespread gusts of 60-70 mph were reported on Cape Cod. Downed trees and power lines left thousands without power. The wind had a more significant impact in SE MA than the rain did. That is typical of a tropical system passing to the west like Floyd did.

At the time Floyd hit, I was not even one year into my broadcast career. Nonetheless, I was allowed to play a fairly big role in the coverage of the storm on ABC6. I remember it well, and it is strange to think that in 2012 my oldest son is closer to my age in these videos than I am! Check out the cringe-worthy videos for a little trip down memory lane.

Fred Campagna

President and Chief Meteorologist - Right Weather LLC AMS Certified Consulting Meteorologist #756 AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist #126

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