NEW BERN, N.C. (WITN) – Hurricanes have caused massive amounts of destruction to areas in Eastern Carolina in the past, but this year, the tropical activity has been quieter than usual.
Hurricane Florence ripped through New Bern in 2018, destroying nearly 800 businesses and leaving the city reeling with a $100 million bill.
However, as the peak of hurricane season has passed, meteorologists like WITN’s Jim Howard are optimistic, even with the current La Niña weather pattern.
“Things may change, but right now, the La Niña conditions are not enhancing the tropical activity,” Howard says. “We’ve seen low numbers despite La Niña conditions building in.”
New Bern resident Jill Maxwell lived and worked in the city during Florence. She saw its destruction firsthand with $250,000 worth of damages caused to the store where she worked.
“Because of the significant amount of rain that we received in the 36 hours, it collapsed the roof, and it’s a two-story roof and it collapsed all the way down so it blew out the entire storefront,” Maxwell said.
Even though conditions this season have been quieter, Maxwell isn’t counting out the possibility of another major hurricane just yet.
“We’ve had hurricanes that have hit after the September timeframe, so I don’t think that we should be complacent and not think about it, but as long as they don’t come to North Carolina, we’re good,” Maxwell said.
Howard Matthews was also a victim of Florence. He lost his home and most of his possessions, but says that even though the city was in bad shape, the storm brought the community together.
“People were offering water, towels and we came through the storm and it brought us together, it really did,” Matthews said.
Matthews is hopeful that with no named storms on the radar at this point in the season, the end of November will come without any damage to the New Bern area.
The 2022 hurricane season will end on Nov. 30th, according to the National Weather Service.
There have only been two years since 1994 that have had less than 10 named storms. And with about two and a half months left in the season, there are no named storms on the radar.
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