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Hurricanes & Tropical Storms

Hurricanes are cyclonic low-pressure system storms originating in tropical ocean waters and fueled by latent heat from the condensation of warm water. Hurricanes and tropical storms that affect North Carolina normally form in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of western Africa between the months of June and November with the peak season occurring in early September.  The strength of hurricanes is rated by the Saffir-Simpson Scale.

Property damage, injuries and even death can result when the high winds of a hurricane or a tropical storm combine with saturated soils from extended heavy rains, which may cause trees to be uprooted and fall onto nearby structures, or even cause wind blown debris to damage structures. Additionally, hurricanes and tropical storms include bands of severe thunderstorms, which may produce hail, heavy rains and spawn tornadoes.  Although most hurricanes cause only limited damage within the area, Hurricane Fran in September of 1996 caused critical damages throughout the County and region.
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