Hurricane Isabel Remembered for Storm Surge, Flooding

September 20, 2003: Hurricane Isabel devastates homes along the North Carolina coast.

It’s one of the most recent storms to reshape our coastline, but can you believe it happened 17 years ago?

From the State Climate Office, I’m Corey Davis, and this week in North Carolina Weather History, we remember Hurricane Isabel.

Over the open ocean, Isabel had been a monster Category-5 hurricane. It weakened on its way to North Carolina, but Isabel was still a strong Category-2 when it made landfall just north of Cape Lookout on September 18, 2003.

Isabel’s winds and waves washed away part of Hatteras Island and left Hatteras Village cut off from the rest of the state for more than two months.

Isabel is also one of the worst hurricanes to hit the northeastern part of the state. Storm surge in the sounds and rivers flooded low-lying towns, and falling trees crushed homes and power lines. Across the state, the damage bill from Isabel totaled almost half a billion dollars.

With This Week in Weather History, I’m Corey Davis.