Saturday, June 15, 2024

Wilmington area received minimal damage from Hurricane Matthew (slideshow)

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Though other parts of North Carolina are still underwater due to Hurricane Matthew, the City of Wilmington and New Hanover County experienced minimal damage in most areas.

According to the National Weather Service office in Wilmington, 6.59 inches of rain were recorded at the Wilmington International Airport, several inches lower than predicted. Sustained winds measured between 45 to 50 miles per hour in Wilmington, with gusts of 70 mile per hour or higher.

While the Cape Fear River overflowed onto Water Street on Saturday, and the tide gauge record of 8.15 feet (from Hurricane Hazel in 1954) was broken, the water had receded by Sunday morning. The City of Wilmington reported minimal damage to the Riverfront Park Improvement Project, which was a major concern to local officials following a collapsed bulkhead during September’s Tropical Storm Hermine. Crews began removing fallen trees and other debris from roadways Sunday and will continue throughout the week.

In Carolina Beach, the town prepared for significant rain and flooding, and though roads were closed on the north end and other low-lying areas due to high water, no major structural damage was reported.

Further south in Brunswick County, Oak Island fared worse, as part of the town’s pier washed away during Hurricane Matthew. The town’s main road was still underwater on Sunday, and a raft with possible Cuban origins washed up on the town’s west end.

Many people in the area are still without power. According to Duke Energy’s power outage map, over 15,000 people are still in the dark in New Hanover County as of 2 p.m. Monday.

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