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Raleigh/Chapel Hill or the Winston/Salem areas get hit by hurricanes??

Raleigh/Chapel Hill or the Winston/Salem areas get hit by hurricanes??

Old Jan 22nd, 2002, 04:50 PM
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Raleigh/Chapel Hill or the Winston/Salem areas get hit by hurricanes??

Wondering if these more inland areas are ever hit by SEVERE weather? Thanks
Old Jan 22nd, 2002, 05:37 PM
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Yes. Hurricane Fran put a hurtin' on the Raleigh area in (I think) 1996. Wind gusts higher than 70 mph, 10 inches of rain that night. We had more than 15 100-year-old trees taken down by the wind at our house.

They've had a few big snowfalls over the last few years, too.

Most of the hurricanes that have hit the Carolinas haven't produced major damage as far inland as Raleigh, though. Hurricanes sometime dump a lot of rain (like the one that put much of eastern North Carolina underwater in '99 or 2000) in Raleigh, but Fran was the only one that caused huge amounts of damage in Raleigh over the last 20 years or so.
Old Jan 22nd, 2002, 06:44 PM
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So would you consider these areas pretty dangerous to live in?
Old Jan 22nd, 2002, 10:25 PM
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No more so than any other place. Seems like most places in the U.S. have floods, landslides, wildfires, earthquakes, windstorms, tornados, big winter storms, hurricanes, or some other major catastrophes.

And there were several hurricanes that hit the Carolinas during our 15 years there, but only Fran did any major damage as far inland as Raleigh.

Oh, I might add that Hurricane Fran damage was widespread but inconsistent. Although we had a lot of trees down in our yard, only one of the other 18 yards in our neighborhood had a tree down--and it was a single tree at that.

In a nutshell, I'd say Raleigh/Chapel Hill are at worst average as far as susceptibility to severe weather goes (unless you consider hot, humid summers severe). Winston-Salem is a little more susceptible to ice/snow than Raleigh, but that's about it.

So, no, IMHO the central Piedmont area of North Carolina doesn't seem to be more dangerous than any other area of the U.S. Hope this helps...
Old Jan 23rd, 2002, 04:39 AM
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Cautious -- why do you ask?

Remember, please, everyone who thinks some other part of the country is afflicted by chronic disaster: you get what the media need to keep you watching.

You'll never go to the northwest because of any-day-now volcanoes and earthquakes. You'll never go to California because of any-day-now earthquakes (or gridlock or crime or expensive housing). You'll never visit the southwest or the midwest because of any-day-now tornadoes, floods, etc. You'll never visit the southeast because of any-day-now hurricanes or floods. You'll never visit the northeast because of any-day-now hurricanes, blizzards (or gridlock or crime or expensive housing).

If you want to get scared, consider that we seem to be in an upswing of severe weather compared to earlier decades.

Hurricane Fran was an aberration -- the eye held intact well inland, something that appears not to have happened before in recorded Piedmont weather history. But Agnes, Hugo, etc. all were exceptional hurricanes that hit their particular areas hard.

I live in Chapel Hill. Fran was scary (our gusts hit 100). But there have been more than 1200 days since then without hurricanes. Of those, probably 700 were gloriously sunny, about 4 involved heavy snowfall and another 4 ice, maybe 60 involved thunderstorms.

What happens where you live?
Old Jan 23rd, 2002, 07:06 AM
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Hi cautious,
I have lived in Winston-Salem for more than 20 years. We very rarely have what you could consider SEVERE weather. I believe it was in 1989, we had both a tornado and hurricane come through, a few months apart, and there was some damage in some parts of the city. Basically, however, we only get some hard rain and some strong winds off the hurricanes that come through the coastal areas. I feel safe, weather-wise, living here.
Old Jan 23rd, 2002, 08:17 AM
dan woodlief
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I have lived in NC most of my life, lived in Chapel Hill during Fran (it did quite a bit of damage), and now live in Durham. Don't worry about it. This area can get hit by hurricanes, tornadoes, and ice storms, but I don't consider the threat from either to be worth using as a deciding factor as to whether or not to visit or move to the area. Now if you want to move to the Outer Banks or Wilmington, hurricanes become more of an issue.
Old Jan 23rd, 2002, 09:12 AM
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Good to see a Winston-Salem native on the board! My wife & I lived in W/S from 1986 to 2000. I remember very well the 1989 weather you mentioned.

On May 5, 1989, the area was hit very hard (especially some parts of Ardmore, Buena Vista, and along I-40) by a combination of tornados and/or straight-line winds. My wife and I spent those evening hours in the basement of our rental house.

Later that Fall, Hurricane Hugo came through with comparatively mild winds. (Before reaching W/S it caused lots of damage in parts of Charlotte--my parent's were without power in south Charlotte for several weeks, and they had to cut their way out through numerous fallen trees to a passable road.)

However, having lived in the NC piedmont nearly my whole life, the only consistently dangerous weather away from the coast comes from tornados in the Spring.

Now that I live oceanfront in SC, I pay much closer attention to hurricanes than I used to!

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