Damage From Hurricane Florence Totals $17 Billion

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A new estimate from the Office of State Budget and Management shows that Hurricane Florence caused close to $17 billion in damage when it made landfall in September, up from the original $13 billion estimate.

The storm, which saw tropical storm-force winds up to 99 miles per hour in some areas of the state, left hundreds of thousands of people without power. In the six weeks since, more than 130,000 have registered with FEMA for individual assistance, according to Gov. Roy Cooper’s office.

According to Cooper’s office, $108 million worth of assistance has gone to individuals and close to 400 Small Business Administration loans have been made.  

Though the estimate may continue to change, the damage left in the wake of the storm is considered historic, worth more than damage by hurricanes Matthew and Floyd combined. The two caused $4.8 billion and up to $9.4 billion, respectively.

Cooper calls the destruction “unprecedented” and says “it’s clear that we have to recover smarter and stronger to better withstand future storms.”

Restoration efforts are still underway.