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Introduction

Jamie Kruse

Dr. Jamie Kruse
Director of the Center for Natural Hazards Research

On the morning of Thursday, September 16, 1999, Hurricane Floyd made landfall at the mouth of the Cape Fear River. Rains associated with Hurricanes Dennis, Floyd, and Irene resulted in extensive flooding over a two-month period in eastern North Carolina, with most river basins exceeding the 500-year flood level. Flooding was worst along the Tar River, leaving the towns of Rocky Mount, Tarboro, Princeville, Greenville, and Washington devastated. In North Carolina, Floyd was directly responsible for 35 fatalities and several billions of dollars in property damages.

In 2004, the Center for Natural Hazards Research (CNHR), housed at East Carolina University, was established in order to provide support and coordination for research and outreach on natural hazards, including hurricanes, flooding, and coastal erosion. On September 17 and 18, 2009, the CNHR was proud to host the Hurricane Floyd Symposium that commemorated the storm’s 10th anniversary and the 5th year of the CNHR’s existence.

The Hurricane Floyd Symposium gave us an opportunity to take stock of what we have accomplished so far and to consider our future direction. The public forum and research conference was designed to examine lessons learned from the disaster, the current status of the region, and highlight ongoing natural hazards research projects relevant to hurricane risk. The public forum included presentations from state and local government, nonprofit organizations, and academia. Over twenty researchers from eleven institutions presented findings during the research conference. Areas of expertise were diverse, including atmospheric science, communications, economics, finance, geography, hydrology, meteorology, planning, and sociology.

This website provides videos and summaries of the presentations in the public forum and the research conference. The value of an endeavor like the symposium is in how the information shapes the way we move forward. Therefore, this website also serves as a benchmark so that we can measure our progress on hurricane risk mitigation. We sincerely hope you find the information contained here interesting and informative.

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