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A two-day symposium this month will examine response, recovery and research related to the devastation caused ten years ago when Hurricane Floyd brought 10 to 18 inches of rainfall to eastern North Carolina, causing extensive flooding in the area. ECU suffered damage estimated at $7 million in the aftermath of the storm, including flooded buildings, downed trees and ruined equipment. The Hurricane Floyd Symposium, scheduled for Sept. 17 and 18, will commemorate the storm’s 10th anniversary. Recovery efforts from September 1999 are pictured above, in this scene outside ECU’s Taylor/Slaughter Alumni Center on Fifth Street. (File photo)


10 Years After Floyd

Hurricane Symposium Stresses Response, Recovery, Research

By Christine Neff

The 10th anniversary of Hurricane Floyd will be commemorated with an East Carolina University symposium discussing the response to, recovery from and ongoing research related to the devastating storm.
The two-day Hurricane Floyd Symposium is organized by ECU’s Center for Natural Hazards Research. It will be held Sept. 17 and 18 at the City Hotel and Bistro in Greenville.

Speakers include ECU researchers and scientists from around the country. Former Governor Jim Hunt, who was in office when the hurricane struck eastern North Carolina, and the Honorable Richard Moore, who, as then-Secretary of the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, led the state’s emergency response to Floyd, are among the keynote speakers.

The event will focus on the history of Floyd, as well as the future of hurricane hazard response and research.
“We will be looking back at Floyd and seeing what we have learned in the 10 years since to better protect ourselves from hurricane events in the future,” said Scott Curtis, an ECU geographer and one of the event’s organizers.

The first day of the symposium will be a free public forum. Beginning at 12:30 p.m. and continuing through 5 p.m., panelists will discuss, among other topics, emergency preparedness for disadvantaged communities, ways to use technology to reduce risk and long-term disaster recovery planning.

Participants can register to attend a 6 p.m. dinner featuring keynote speaker Moore. Cost is $30 ($15 for students) if later.

On Day 2, researchers from various fields will discuss broader issues related to hurricane research, including forecasting, flood characteristics, economic effects, emergency communication and evacuation.
The keynote speaker will be Laura Furgione, an assistant administrator with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). She was the local warning meteorologist during Floyd and will discuss her experiences and recent NOAA-funded research related to hurricanes.

Presentations will begin at 8:30 a.m. and continue until 5:20 p.m. Cost is $40 ($20 for students).

Curtis said organizers are hoping for a large turnout for the commemorative event. “I think the information will be especially useful to community leaders, emergency managers – anyone who deals with storm events,” he said.

For more information on the Hurricane Floyd Symposium and to register, visit

This page originally appeared in the Sept. 4, 2009 issue of Pieces of Eight. Complete issue is archived at