New WRAL Documentary Revisits Devastating Hurricane 10 Years Later

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New WRAL Documentary Revisits Devastating Hurricane 10 Years Later
“Floyd” Airs Wednesday Sept 16, 2009, 7pm

Focal Point Hurricane Floyd was the worst natural disaster in North Carolina’s modern history. Ten years later, many communities in eastern North Carolina still haven’t fully recovered from Floyd’s devastating floods. A new WRAL News documentary, “Floyd” revisits the storm and examines its lasting effects.  The documentary airs Wednesday night, September 16th at 7:00pm on WRAL-TV. WRAL News anchor Bill Leslie hosts.

“Floyd” provides a retrospective of the state’s worst storm and the devastating flood that followed, revisiting affected communities and ongoing recovery efforts.  The documentary also examines the storm’s lasting impact, advances in flood mapping, emergency response and other measures that have been taken to help the state better prepare for future floods.

Hurricane Floyd struck North Carolina on September 16, 1999 just ten days after Tropical Storm Dennis dumped six to sixteen inches of rain across eastern North Carolina. 

The ground was already saturated when Floyd dumped another 12 to 20 inches of rain.  Rivers overflowed their banks and floodwaters began to cover roads and inundate entire communities. 

Floyd killed 52 people in North Carolina.  Most of them drowned as they tried to flee to higher ground in their cars.

More than 87,000 people registered with FEMA as storm victims.  The floods destroyed about 8000 homes and damaged more about 67,000. About 12,000 businesses were damaged. 

The flooding caused about six billion dollars in property damage.  It halted agricultural production in eastern North Carolina causing more than a billion dollars in farm losses. The floods killed nearly three million chickens and turkeys and more than 30,000 hogs.

Focal Point
“Floyd” is the latest episode in the WRAL documentary series called Focal Point.  These in-depth news documentaries focus on a single topic, bringing depth and clarity to complicated issues facing North Carolina.  From North Carolina’s economy and environment, to health care and race relations – Focal Point takes viewers inside the lives of the people most affected.  Focal Point tackles the tough questions with leaders and policymakers who have the power to effect change.  WRAL News anchors, including David Crabtree, Pam Saulsby, Bill Leslie, Gerald Owens and Debra Morgan, host the series.  Six to eight new episodes of Focal Point will be produced each year. 

Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Debbie Strange for this capcom story.

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