As Dorian hits, NC remembers 23 years since Hurricane Fran

As Dorian hits, NC remembers 23 years since Hurricane Fran

RALEIGH, N.C. — As Hurricane Dorian continues to batter the Carolina coast, many North Carolinians are remembering the 23rd anniversary of Hurricane Fran.

Hurricane Fran made landfall as a Category 3 storm near Cape Fear in September 1996, just two months after Hurricane Bertha hit the region.

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It made landfall with sustained winds of 115 mph, but it weakened to a Category 1 storm within six hours.

The worst damage was seen in North Carolina, even though Fran made its way through Virginia.

Officials said more than 10-inches of rain fell in Wilmington and Cape Fear area, but the heaviest rain was seen from Wilmington through Raleigh into Virginia.

The North Topsail Beach police station was washed away during the storm in a 12-foot storm surge. At the time, it was in a trailer because Hurricane Bertha wiped away the original building.

(Hurricane Fran, 1996)

In addition, piers along the North Carolina coast were damaged or destroyed including the Emerald Isle and Surf City fishing piers as well as Topsail Island's ocean pier, which was built in 1948.

WTVD reported the eye of the storm went through North Carolina's capital Raleigh and caused more than $900 million in damage throughout Wake County.

Officials said 26 people died as a result of Hurricane Fran and more than $1 billion worth of property had been destroyed.