20 YEARS LATER: Remembering Hurricane Fran that claimed 27 lives

CHARLOTTE, N.C — Twenty years ago, WSOC-TV meteorologists were tracking Hurricane Fran as it crashed into the Tar Heel state. Fran made landfall on Sept. 5, 1996 as a Category 3 hurricane near Cape Fear, North Carolina.

(Photo courtesy of National Weather Service)

Producing sustained winds of 115 mph, and a total storm tide as high as 13 feet, Fran caused widespread damage to southeastern North Carolina. In Wilmington, 75 percent of homes reported some degree of damage, and thousands were left without power.

From Wilmington, Fran traveled through Fayetteville and Raleigh before crossing into Virginia.

Hurricane Fran led to 27 fatalities, 14 alone in North Carolina. This storm was at the time, the most expensive natural disaster in North Carolina history, causing $4.16 billion in damages.