Hurricane Floyd - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Hurricane Floyd

September 16, 1999 -- Neighbors and onlookers alike help move household contents to higher ground, as flooding began near Myrtle Beach. (Dave Saville/ FEMA ) September 16, 1999 -- Neighbors and onlookers alike help move household contents to higher ground, as flooding began near Myrtle Beach. (Dave Saville/ FEMA )

Disaster declarations were issued for 10 states, triggering one of the widest-ranging response and recovery efforts ever by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

At nearly 600 miles across, it was one of the largest storms ever to come out of the Atlantic Ocean - large enough to cover the entire Florida peninsula. It threatened Florida before turning north but stayed at sea longer than forecast before making landfall, and between the threat to Florida and the actual track it forced the largest peacetime evacuation in American history to that time.

Although South Carolina experienced less damage then its neighbor to the North, they still experienced a good part of Floyd's wrath. Over 1000 homes were flooded. Myrtle Beach reported a 24-hour rainfall of 14.00 inches. On Tuesday, Sept. 14 between 360,000 and 410,000 South Carolinians, obeying Gov. Jim Hodges' evacuation order, fled the coast.

Evacuees in Charleston had the longest average travel times, almost nine hours. Beaufort (SC) and the two Georgia sites also had average travel times exceeding six hours.

There were 57 deaths that were directly attributable to Floyd, 56 in the United States and 1 in Grand Bahama Island. Most of deaths were due to drowning in freshwater flooding. At that time, Floyd was the deadliest hurricane in the United States since Agnes of 1972. Total damage estimates range from 3 to over 6 billion dollars.

-- Compiled from FEMA and NWS reports

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