Hurricane Fran, August 28 - September 8, 1996
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Hurricane Fran, August 28 - September 8, 1996

Filetype[PDF-966.31 KB]


  • NOAA Program & Office:
  • Description:
    "Fran was a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale when it made landfall on the North Carolina coast near Cape Fear on September 5, 1996. Besides sustained winds of 115 miles per hour (mph), the storm surge and high water marks to nearly 13 feet in some coastal areas of North Carolina and Virginia exceeded those of Hurricane Hazel in 1954, although Hazel was a category 4 storm. Heavy rains created extensive inland flooding from the Carolinas into Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Additionally, strong inland winds created severe damage and power outages with hurricane-force wind gusts extending to near Raleigh, North Carolina. Hurricane Fran was directly responsible for 26 deaths. Widespread 5- to 10-inch amounts of rain were recorded over the Middle Atlantic region with 14 to nearly 16 inches in parts of Virginia and West Virginia. The rains brought many rivers in North Carolina, Virginia, and central Pennsylvania to, or above, flood stage. Particularly hard hit were Virginia and North Carolina, where record or near-record river levels occurred at many gage sites. Fran was the worst recorded natural economic disaster ever to occur in North Carolina. Nearly a half-million tourists and residents were evacuated from the coasts of North and South Carolina. Press reports from Reuters News Service stated that 4.5 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were left without power"--from the Executive Summary.
  • Content Notes:
    "July 1997."

    Also available online in PDF via the National Weather Service's web site and via the NOAA Central Library.

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    Public Domain
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