DISCUSSION: Though it may not feel like very long ago for many people living across many parts of the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, 11 years ago today marked a very historic and memorable day (and weather event) for many people living in and around the Carolinas. On July 11th, 1996, this marked the day on which the heart of Hurricane Bertha directly struck the South Carolina and North Carolina coastlines. During the course of Hurricane Bertha's landfall, one of the more remarkable and ultimately notable impacts was the high-magnitude impacts inflicted by the storm surge generated by Bertha. Attached below is a direct excerpt from the "This Day in Weather History" team which captures the essence of what went down during the landfall of this particular tropical cyclone.
"July 12, 1996 - Hurricane Bertha makes landfall near Wrightsville Beach, NC with maximum winds of 105 mph, but the storm surge dealt the most devastation. The U.S. Virgin Islands, along with North Carolina, were declared federal disaster areas. Surveys indicate that Bertha damaged almost 2,500 homes on St. Thomas and St. John. For many, it was the second hit in the ten months since Hurricane Marilyn devastated the same area. The primary effects in North Carolina were to the coastal counties and included storm surge flooding and beach erosion, roof damage, piers washed away, fallen trees and damage to crops. Over 5,000 homes were damaged, mostly from storm surge. Storm total rainfall amounts ranged from 5 to 8 inches along a coastal strip from South Carolina to Maine. Overall, as many as 12 deaths resulted with 8 in the U.S. and territories."
To learn more about this particular event, click on the following link.
©2017 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz