Florence set records for rainfall totals as it swept across North Carolina and South Carolina, according weather officials.
Hurricane Floyd, which hit North Carolina in 1999, brought 24.06 inches of rain to Wilmington, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Unofficial numbers from NOAA show that at least five locations in the state have surpassed that total — and there could be more.
Swansboro, a coastal town 19 miles east of Jacksonville, recorded 33.89 inches of rain as of Sunday night. Hoffman, which like Swansboro is in Onslow County, has recorded 29.48 inches.
Sunny Point (27.44) and Newport/Morehead City (25.20) have eclipsed the record, too. Emerald Isle is also closing in on the mark, having taken 23.66 inches, according to unofficial numbers from NOAA.
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Before Hurricane Florence hit, South Carolina’s record for most rain in a single spot is 17.45 inches, set during Hurricane Beryl in 1994. But this week’s storm has already dropped 18.13 inches of rain in Marion, according to NOAA.
Carolina Sand Hills (16.44) and Chesterfield (16.06) are also closing in on the record rainfall total, per NOAA.
Preliminary rainfall totals from NOAA collection locations as measured from Thursday through 5 p.m. Sunday:
Hoffman Forest: 29.48
Sunny Point: 27.44
Newport/Morehead City: 25.20
Emerald Isle: 23.66
Cedar Point: 21.73
Carolina Sand Hills: 16.44
Pawley’s Island: 10.08
A U.S. Geological Survey rain gauge at 9:06 a.m. Friday showed Atlantic Beach had received 31.37 inches of rainfall over the past 24 hours. That would have easily surpassed North Carolina’s 24-hour rainfall record of 22 inches, recorded in Mitchell County in 1916, but local meteorologists expressed doubts about the reading, according to The News & Observer.
By Sunday, USGS online rainfall data confirmed suspicions – indicating equipment failure for rain gauges at Atlantic Beach and Emerald Isle.
The following are USGS 48-hour rainfall inch totals recorded as of 8 p.m. Sunday at gauges in the path of Florence:
Surf City: 36.29
Wrightsville Beach: 31.36
New Bern: 19.44
Galivants Ferry: 17.57
Conway (Myrtle Beach area): 15.35
Buck Creek (near Longs): 12.24
Conway (Crabtree Swamp): 11.54
Black River (at Kingstree): 12.24