Recent Storm Damage Posts

Your Trusted Storm Restoration Partner

2/13/2024 (Permalink)

water damage in kitchen You can trust SERVPRO of Pender/West Onslow Counties in your home

When unexpected water damage strikes from a storm, it’s crucial to have a reliable partner by your side to restore your home or business promptly. In Jacksonville, NC, SERVPRO of Pender/West Onslow Counties stands ready to provide swift and efficient solutions to mitigate the aftermath of storm-related emergencies.

       Immediate Response Team:

Our experienced and dedicated team understands the urgency of water damage situations. We pride ourselves on our rapid response time, ensuring that we are on-site quickly to assess the extent of the damage and implement immediate measures to prevent further issues.

      Advanced Technology and Techniques:

Utilizing cutting-edge technology and industry-approved techniques, our water restoration experts employ state-of-the-art equipment to extract water, thoroughly dry affected areas, and restore your property to its pre-damage condition. From moisture detection tools to high-powered drying equipment, we have the resources to tackle any scale of water damage.

      Comprehensive Water Damage Restoration:

Whether it’s a burst pipe, flooding, or storm damage, SERVPRO® comprehensive water restoration services cover a wide range of issues. We address water extraction, structural drying, mold remediation, and sanitization, ensuring a thorough restoration process.

      Transparent Communication:

We understand the stress that comes with water damage, so we prioritize transparent communication. Our team keeps you informed at every step of the restoration process, explaining the procedures involved and providing accurate timelines for completion.

      Licensed and Insured:

Rest assured, SERVPRO of Pender/West Onslow Counties is fully licensed and insured, giving you peace of mind knowing that you are working with a professional and reliable water restoration service in Jacksonville, NC.

      Local Expertise:

Being a part of the Jacksonville community, we understand the unique challenges that local properties may face. Our team’s local expertise allows us to tailor our services to the specific needs of our community, ensuring a personalized and effective restoration process.

When a storm wreaks havoc on your home or business in Jacksonville, NC, SERVPRO of Pender/West Onslow Counties is your trusted ally. With a swift response, advanced technology, and a commitment to transparent communication, we are dedicated to restoring tranquility to your life. Call us today for expert water damage restoration services you can rely on.

Water Mitigation in Jacksonville after a Storm

3/3/2023 (Permalink)

heavy rain hitting roof It doesn't have to rain for very long for water to start building up outside. Our SERVPRO team is always on call and ready to be deployed.

SERVPRO Can Help with Storm-Related Water Restorations Services

Most people in our area know it doesn't have to rain for very long for water to start building up outside. Within an hour or two during a storm, there could be an inch or two of standing water in your driveway and yard. And since moisture only has to be an inch or two higher than your lower door seals to enter your house, it does not take much rain to cause issues inside your home.

Even if a small amount of H2O enters your home through a door seal, floodwater mitigation inside your Jacksonville home should be conducted. Sometimes, the moisture inside your home can get to where you are ankle-deep in water. If there are more than two inches of standing H2O, our SERVPRO technicians can use a submersible pump to suck out the moisture and put it into one of your sewage drains.

In other cases, only a minute amount of moisture enters from the outdoors, so only your carpets and other flooring materials get wet. However, any time water enters your structure from the outside, there is a chance of contamination. When dealing with rain water or muddy moisture from the ground, we can take precautions to prevent the spread of harmful microorganisms. For example, we can remove and dispose of any porous materials like your carpets that got wet. We can then use antimicrobial and antibacterial solutions to disinfect harder, non-porous materials like your subfloors.

Steps we can take to remove moisture after a flood:

  • Water extraction services
  • Applied Structural Drying (ASD)
  • Use a mop and squeegee for hard surface floors

Any time you notice moisture has made its way into your house through your lower door seals, call SERVPRO of Pender / West Onslow Counties at (910) 319-0600.

Handling Storm Flood Damage in Hampstead Homes Calls for Expertise

9/22/2022 (Permalink)

Person wearing boots walking through floodwater SERVPRO of Pender/West Onslow Counties has the expertise to safely restore your flood-damaged property.

How SERVPRO Handles Storm Flood Damage in Hampstead

When dealing with flooding issues resulting from a storm, the expectations regarding restoration are high because floodwater usually contains potentially harmful contaminants. Biological contaminants like bacteria and viruses occur naturally in floodwaters. The water can also seep into the walls and floorboards, causing fungus growth like mold. 

The other effects of flooding include peeling paint, warping or cupping of wood floors, damaged wiring, and rotting drywall. When storm flood damage occurs on your Hampstead property, SERVPRO is the right firm to hire. Our flood damage repair process may include the following steps: 

  • Inspection
  • Pack-out 
  • Water extraction and drying
  • Deodorization
  • Reconstruction


Our team can assess the damage from the storm, document everything thoroughly, and create a suitable restoration plan. 


A pack-out falls under the private property section in your homeowner’s insurance policy. Our SERVRPRO team can clean, dry, and properly repair the items removed from your residence before returning them. We are well-equipped to pack-out different things, including appliances, furniture, and the contents of kitchen pantries or cupboards. 

Water extraction and drying 

Our SERVPRO technicians can remove the water using powerful pumps. Our team can also use axial air movers to dry your home. Axial air movers deliver lower pressure at high volume and can cover larger areas of affected materials. We can place refrigerant dehumidifiers in the middle of affected rooms to ensure even drying. These devices eliminate water vapor from the air through condensation. 


Flooding often causes a foul smell. We can use deodorizing pellets or granules to eliminate it. These are odor absorbers containing fuller’s earth as their main ingredient. It functions like a sponge to hold and absorb smells. We can apply the pellets to a particular area or the whole home. 


SERVPRO can perform minor and major repairs to restore your residence. Minor repairs may include replacing drywall, painting the home, and replacing carpeting. The significant repairs may consist of reconstructing specific structures like the hardwood floors. 

In the event of storm flood damage, call SERVPRO of Pender / West Onslow Counties at (910) 319-0600 for restoration services. We’re Faster To Any Size Disaster. 

Extracting Flood Water from Hampstead Basements

7/8/2022 (Permalink)

storm clouds and lightning Did your home experience flooding with recent storms? SERVPRO has the extraction equipment to remove the water.

Basements can be a common area affected by flooding, as water seeks the path of less resistance, letting gravity pull it to the lowest possible point in the house without obstruction. When water begins to pool at this level of the residence, flood extraction is necessary to protect your belongings and the home's structural integrity. 

Patching Structural Vulnerabilities

When beginning the recovery of flood damage in Hampstead homes, including water removal from the basement, it is prudent for technicians to learn where water is penetrating the structure. Patching foundation vulnerabilities make the upcoming water removal services faster and more productive. 

Water Removal Services 

Removing standing water from the structure is one of the most direct methods of helping a home after flood damage. It quickly finds its way to the basement of residences, even when the penetration did not originate through the foundation. The result can be several inches, or even feet, of pooling floodwater at this subterranean level. We have several extractors to overcome potential obstacles like:

  • Deep Extraction - The depth of the damage can influence the choice of an extractor. Greater volumes require more powerful units, including our truck-mounted options for several hundred gallons per minute of production. 
  • Floating Debris - Solids and matter can limit the options for extractors when clearing out the house. Trash pumps have become a trusted option for a high discharge yield. 
  • Elevation Pumping - Because pumps are sometimes asked to push several feet to reach grade, high-pressure pumps can sometimes be preferred.

There are many challenges to protecting and restoring the basement level of a house after destructive flooding. With these disasters' impact on the structure, it is vital to get emergency services started as soon as possible - especially water removal. Our SERVPRO of Pender / West Onslow Counties team is standing by now to help at (910) 319-0600.

Handling Repairs After Flood Damage in Hampstead

6/13/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded street and yard SERVPRO of Pender/ West Onslow Counties is your one-stop-shop for flood damage restoration.

Storms May Cause Damage to Hampstead Homes, But SERVPRO is Ready to Restore Them

Thunderstorms and heavy rains can cause flash flooding in Hampstead, bringing water and its contents to your doorstep and beyond. Even when you take precautions to prevent water entry into your home, sometimes it is inevitable. Even a seemingly minor volume of water can cause costly damage to a home but calling a reputable water restoration company can make a tangible difference in your restoration efforts.

In flood-damaged homes in Hampstead, our SERVPRO staff successfully restored the house while giving our clients peace of mind after the incident. Once you call our 24/7 hotline, we don’t hesitate to use all the necessary industry-grade equipment and know-how to achieve the best results as soon as possible. Structural concerns worsen by the minute; with drywall, flooring, and fixtures being at high risk of secondary flood damage, time is of the essence.

Our SERVPRO staff aims to be your resource during the flood damage restoration process from start to finish. This includes documenting every step and assisting with the insurance claim. It also includes providing move-out services for undamaged items, specialized drying solutions for selected belongings, and applying anti-microbial solutions once the cleanup and drying are done. Not surprisingly, our team also excels at the following:

  • Performing controlled demolition
  • Replacing drywall and sheetrock
  • Removing unsalvageable flooring materials and disposing of them as required by local regulations

When you call SERVPRO of Pender/ West Onslow Counties at (910) 319-0600, you access the latest water restoration industry and the most professional team of experts. If disaster strikes, call us and let us leave your home “Like it never even happened.”

Flood Damage Cleanup from Jacksonville Basements

4/21/2022 (Permalink)

Heavy rain hitting roof of home. When flooding happens, fast remediation is necessary. SERVPRO is always available 24/7.

Pooling and Flood Damage in Jacksonville Basements Must Be Removed Promptly

Flooding is not uncommon for Pender and Onslow County homes and businesses. Harsh weather systems can generate ideal conditions to create disasters like flash flooding, which destructively surges at residences in the neighborhoods we serve and require fast restoration. An area of many houses at risk is the basement.

Identifying Penetration Points

Overcoming flood damage in Jacksonville homes, particularly the basements, begins with understanding how the condition occurred. Penetration points for flooding must be identified and resolved in the earliest stages of recovery to keep the situation from repeating during the restoration and cleaning processes.

Removing Water

Standing water needs to be removed as fast as possible from flooded areas of your house. Water migration can result in heavy pooling in this subterranean portion with lower levels like the basement. Because natural flooding often introduces particles and solids along with the standing floodwater, only specific extraction units can be effective. Trash pumps and truck-mount extractors are preferred removal options.

Muck-Out Cleaning

Matter carried in with floodwater is a considerable concern for homes at the basement level. Not only must the surface water be resolved promptly, but failures to remove the debris and bulk materials impacted can allow contaminants and microbes to cause health hazards, structural degradation, or biohazard conditions. Muck-out cleaning addresses:

  • Debris
  • Solids
  • Organic Matter
  • Contaminants

Thorough Drying

Drying is extensive, utilizing dozens of tools and devices from our recovery inventory. Air movers are among the most readily used, with several machines daisy-chained together to limit power demands while providing maximum evaporation production. Basements require several centrifugal units directed at concrete masonry units that have begun to absorb the floodwater.

Despite the damage that flooding can cause your home, our SERVPRO of Pender / West Onslow Counties team’s fast response is crucial in saving time and money for customers. Call when disasters strike at (910) 319-0600.

Handling Flood Damage After Devastating Jacksonville Storms

3/17/2022 (Permalink)

Blue tarp over storm damaged roof Tarping and boarding up are two of SERVPRO’s emergency storm damage restoration services.

Get Your Jacksonville Property Back to Normal with Flood Damage Restoration

Taking on storm damage repair to your Jacksonville property can be daunting for any homeowner. However, with the help of SERVPRO’s storm response team, you can restore your home, handle any standing water, and return it to pre-damage condition. We are there within hours of your call to mitigate damage, help put your mind at ease, and handle all facets of restoration for you.

Every flood damage situation in Jacksonville is unique, so you need an experienced team like SERVPRO to ensure you get the results you need. After a storm, one of the most critical steps is a thorough assessment to spot any potential dangers, all areas where water may have infiltrated your home, and more.

  • Assessment/Securing the Property –If you have a leaking roof from storms or have suffered wall damage, SERVPRO secures your building to keep it safe from the elements. Our tarping and board-up services help keep out additional water, wind, debris, animals, and vandals.
  • Prompt Clean Up –Storm and flood damage restoration must include rapid clean-up. We remove affected interior contents and structural elements that get tagged unsalvageable. Our crew determines what can get saved, and we clear space so that recovery and rebuilding can begin.
  • Water Removal Services –Our water restoration technicians (WRT) remove all standing water using powerful extractors and submersible pumps.
  • Controlled Demolition/Reconstruction –We use skilled contractors to handle the replacement and finishing of all water-damaged areas. SERVPRO's goal is to restore your home to pre-flood condition, “Like it never even happened.” We may need to replace carpeting, carpet pads, subfloor, drywall, panels, ceiling tiles, and more during this time.

SERVPRO of Pender/West Onslow Counties can be there 24/7 with our emergency response team should you require flood damage assistance after a recent storm. Our highly trained technicians have the experience and equipment to provide you with stellar results. You can reach us by dialing (910) 319-0600.

Affected Materials During Crawlspace Flooding in Hampstead

1/7/2022 (Permalink)

Inside view of Crawlspace Crawlspaces are often the first to feel the affects of flooding. SERVPRO is always available to restore your home.

Crawlspaces of Hampstead Homes Can Become Quickly Damaged by Intruding Floodwater

While flooding is traumatic and hazardous to homes and businesses throughout our service area, the situation worsens until basic mitigation steps get taken, like water removal services. Extracting standing water from the crawlspace of area homes requires tools capable of operating around a confined space, such as:

  • Truck-mount extractors 
  • Wet vacuums
  • Trash pumps

Supports for the House 

Flood damage around Hampstead properties can have a direct impact on foundational materials. While some homes in the area feature slab foundations, when crawlspaces are present, the suspension of the house to support this designed area features needed structural elements to hold the home's weight. Whether poured concrete, masonry, wood, or other materials, continued exposure to floodwater and moisture can be destructive and damaging. 

Impact on the Subflooring

Another considerable concern after exposure to floodwater is the rapid development of mold and microbial threats in this environment. Subflooring and supports for the main floor of the house are particularly vulnerable to this developing mold threat. 

Preventing Recurrences of Prolonged Flood Damage 

Even with the substantial efforts needed to remove floodwater and restore its harmful effects on the house, it is often most crucial to develop a permanent solution to avoid recurrences where possible. The best choice in this venture is crawlspace encapsulation which protects the exposed structural elements from water exposure and diverts intruding water away from the household. 

Flooding can be a rapidly developing and severely threatening disaster, even if the water does not directly penetrate the living space of your house. Our SERVPRO of Pender / West Onslow Counties team can help area properties manage flood damage in crawlspaces to prevent more significant harm to the structure. Give us a call today at (910) 319-0600.

Flood Damage Must Get Addressed Fast After Jacksonville Storms

11/12/2021 (Permalink)

Floodwater on road; center yellow lines visible Floodwater contains contaminants. SERVPRO knows how to safely remove the floodwater and sanitize your home.

SERVPRO Follows Safety and Restoration Protocols to Handle Jacksonville Storm Flood Damage Quickly

Flooding from a Jacksonville storm is a devastating event for any home or business. The fallout and contamination involved mean you must have restoration professionals available to help as soon as possible. SERVPRO features fast mobilization in all storm events to get the water damage mitigation that you need when you need it. We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster!

Why Is Muck-Out Part of Flood Restoration?

Storm flood damage in Jacksonville often calls for the removal of debris and other solid matter brought in by the intruding water. Our team targets debris and mud with muck-out service to help reduce contaminants and pathogenic threats, thus improving restoration and cleaning times.

Restoration and Contents Cleaning 

Any items exposed to contaminated floodwater must get cleaned or disposed of, depending on the ability to salvage. To protect and restore your belongings, our team thoroughly assesses everything to determine restoration viability. We may utilize pack-out services to move items off-site for cleaning to achieve our restoration goals in some situations. When we do so, your contents and personal belongings will go through:

  • Color-fastness testing
  • Surface cleaning
  • Thorough drying
  • Sanitizing
  • Deodorizing
  • Safe storage

Why is Controlled Demolition Used?

Various building materials exposed to contaminated floodwater may have to get removed and replaced with the help of our meticulous controlled demolition services. We may perform flood cuts of drywall to remove saturated materials, replace them with brand new drywall and refinish to make it look “Like it never even happened.” Drill holes may also get used to drain water from behind walls to thoroughly dry and remove all hidden moisture.

Call (910) 319-0600 whenever you need prompt, reliable flood damage restoration after a local storm front rolls through the area. SERVPRO of Pender/West Onslow Counties will get the job done quickly.

What Is the Most Reliable Way to Respond to Flash Flood Damage in Jacksonville Homes?

9/23/2021 (Permalink)

Floodwater on road; ‘high water, road closed’ signs Flash floods happen in our neck of the woods and the floodwaters contain contaminants. SERVPRO is trained to safely remove the water. Call us today.

SERVPRO Anticipates a Broad Spectrum of Problems when Delivering Water Removal Services

Flash floods can fill up your Jacksonville home with tons of water almost instantly. However, removing the water and resolving the other problems that develop is rarely easy. Having the right strategy is essential for the right outcome, cost-effectiveness, and general convenience.

Flash flood damage at your Jacksonville property can affect vast sections since the groundwater can rise to any height from a few inches to a couple of feet. Floodwaters are categorized as black water since the level of contamination is high. Our SERVPRO technicians expect various materials in the property, including drywall panels, insulation, and floor coverings such as carpets, to be thoroughly doused with organic and chemical contaminants.

The Crucial Restoration Processes Include:

  • Biohazard remediation
  • Sewage cleanup
  • Rodent cleanup services

Any meaningful restoration work starts after the water recedes in and around the structure. It is possible to find that rodents or other small animals had taken refuge in the house, causing additional problems. However, our SERVPRO teams are prepared to handle such floodwater challenges.

Venturing into the contaminated house also poses risks. Apart from wearing protective equipment, our technicians also take steps such as spraying EPA-registered decontaminants directly into the water to combat contaminants.

Removing all unsalvageable materials is also essential for various reasons, including maintaining the structural integrity of your home and restoring sanitary conditions. Our SERVPRO technicians make flood cuts a few inches above the identified water line, creating the space to remove wall materials. We also strip off carpets, pads, and any other unsalvageable floor materials.

SERVPRO of Pender / West Onslow Counties uses the latest techniques to handle flood damage, “Like it never even happened.” Call us at (910) 319-0600.

What is The Best Way to Handle Materials after Flood Damage Affects My Hampstead Home?

8/10/2021 (Permalink)

Storm Clouds Storms frequent our area. From roof tarping to water removal, our IICRC trained techs at SERVPRO are standing by to restore your home.

SERVPRO Helps Clean or Remove Materials during Water Damage Remediation

Storms and flooding cause significant damages to the interior and exterior sections of properties. Restoring preloss conditions requires proper handling of various materials in the affected areas of the building. Otherwise, problems like moisture damage and contamination can be challenging to address.

When planning to handle flood damage in Hampstead homes, SERVPRO crew chiefs first thoroughly inspect an entire property to establish the affected materials and the type of damage they have. Such information helps determine the best course of action, including salvaging or removing the materials.

Various actions help when dealing with a flood-damaged property, including:

For porous materials affected by groundwater, demolition provides a viable solution to eliminate contamination. Removing materials can cause other problems such as affecting the structural stability of your house, affecting utilities such as plumbing and electrical systems, or even creating physical hazards for occupants.

Demolition to remove unsalvageable materials primarily focuses on:

  • Flooring materials such as carpets and pad
  • Trim such as baseboards
  • Ceiling and wall materials

Our SERVPRO teams work diligently to guarantee proper removal and safe handling of the debris. When removing carpets and pads, we take steps to cut the affected material into small square pieces that easily fit in trash receptacles, thus effectively moving them out of the way. Different tools, including various saws, rubber hammers, and pry bars, help ease the removal process.

SERVPRO of Pender / West Onslow Counties handles all aspects of flood damage professionally. Call us at (910) 319-0600. We’re Faster To Any Size Disaster.

What Hampstead Flood Damage Does to Your Carpet

6/18/2021 (Permalink)

Two girls lying on carpet; fireplace in background. Flooding can damage carpeting. SERVPRO knows how to safely dry and restore carpeting and your home.

Flood Damage in Hampstead Can be Destructive for Carpeted Floors

Flood restoration projects often spend more time on flooring materials than anything else. Underneath inches of standing water, most types of residential flooring start to suffer.

One of the types of flooring most heavily impacted by Hampstead flood damage is carpet. Carpets come in many different styles and materials, but all of them are multi-layered and highly vulnerable to flooding. The top layer of carpet might be made from any material – regardless of the type, this layer often commands most of our attention. It is the most expensive material and the easiest to restore rather than replace. Below, carpet pads and tack strips can quickly degrade when inundated with rain stormwater. We try to separate the layers to promote faster drying and decrease the chance of mold growth. If the waterlogged carpets are from contaminated groundwater, then the only option is to discard them.

Not all floods affect carpeted areas. Some of our damage calls involve a simple leaking roof from storms or floodwaters that only enter a garage. The first person to arrive at your home, the SERVPRO inspector, determines the risks and damages posed by the floodwaters and, when carpeting is threatened, prioritizes water extraction in that area. We prepare to treat carpet in all our calls but most commonly handle it during:

  • Basement Flooding Cleanup
  • Ceiling leaks in bedrooms and living areas
  • Burst pipes
  • Windows left open during storms

For fast and professional damage mitigation services, call SERVPRO of Pender / West Onslow Counties 24/7 at (910) 319-0600.

Can SERVPRO Help Jacksonville Homeowners in Flood Damage Repairs?

5/25/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO restoration equipment being stored in SERVPRO warehouse. Hurricane and summer storm season is nearing. SERVPRO can handle any scope of storm damage your property may incur.

Restore Jacksonville Homes from Flood Damage Due to a Storm with SERVPRO Restoration Experts

Flooding due to a leaking roof from a storm at your Jacksonville home can cause significant damage if not mitigated promptly. How the SERVPRO team of restoration experts handle it directly impacts the time required and the repair cost. Our technicians can begin the flood restoration process of your Jacksonville home as soon as we hear from you. We're Faster To Any Size Disaster.

Flood damage restoration in Jacksonville due to a storm is more than just merely drying the structure and its contents. There can be additional damages including:

  • Warped hardwood flooring
  • Seepage of water behind walls
  • Contaminated water soaking the carpets

How SERVPRO Techs Handle Water Cleanup After a Flooding Incidence in Jacksonville Homes? 

The water cleanup process begins with the SERVPRO restorers testing the water if deemed necessary. Water residing for more than 24 hours on your Jacksonville property has the potential to become contaminated. SERVPRO experts use a variety of antimicrobials to decontaminate before starting the water removal and eventual damage repairs.

The next phase is water extraction using a wet vacuum, truck-mounted extractors, and other equipment. Any ruined part of the structure, such as sheetrock that has wicked a lot of moisture, is removed by carefully controlled demolition, preserving the undamaged portion of the house.

Finally, the residual moisture from your flood-damaged Jacksonville home is eliminated using dehumidifiers and air-moving units before completing the restoration process.

Call SERVPRO of Pender / West Onslow Counties to mitigate the water damages to your Jacksonville property--24/7 available at (910) 319-0600.

Accuracy of Hurricane Forecasting

7/1/2019 (Permalink)

A representation of the average NHC 48-hour track errors for the forecast of a storm centered over Pensacola, Florida, in 1990 (blue) and today (red).

Our area was one of if not the hardest hit areas in the region during Hurricane Florence in September of 2018. When forecasters originally released the path of the monster storm, Florence was expected to make landfall as a Category 4 storm. However, over the coming days the National Hurricane Center (NHC) would downgrade her to a Category 1 as she made landfall just south of Wrightsville Beach on September 14 with sustained winds of 90mph. The states of North Carolina and South Carolina had already declared states of emergency and ordered many mandatory evacuations. When the storm hovered over the area and dumped nearly 40 inches of rain it became the wettest tropical cyclone recorded in the Carolinas and the eighth wettest overall in the contiguous United States (KTVQ Billings News/NHC Report May 4, 2019). Despite Florence’s weakened status of Category 1, the high pressure ridge that stalled the storm out over our state for the following days caused the major inland rivers-Neuse, Eno, Cape Fear and Lumber to breach their banks and flood the surrounding areas. The majority of Pender County and the city of Wilmington were entirely cutoff from the mainland and left many communities without food and gas for multiple days. At least 54 deaths were attributed to the storm. Many were left wondering after such a catastrophe, how accurate are the forecasts that we are given prior to a storm making landfall?

The National Hurricane Center is a component of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction which is located at Florida International University in Miami Florida. The first hurricane warning services began in the 1870’s in Cuba. As technology changed and the ability to track the storms became more accessible, the government began to invest more money and time into forecasting the deadly storms. The NHC began formally in the 1950’s using aircraft to study tropical cyclones and to carry out experiments on mature hurricanes. In 1956 a National Hurricane Information Center was established in Miami Florida. In the last 60+ years it has changed locations and the name has shifted slightly, but the main goal has remained “to save lives, mitigate property loss, and improve economic efficiency by issuing the best watches, warnings, forecasts, and analyses of hazardous tropical weather and by increasing understanding of these hazards.” (

The first known recorded forecast was in 1954, with 24 hour predictions of a tropical cyclone’s track were made. ( In the following years, the NHC has broadened the window with which the forecast is made in by releasing a hurricane season forecast for the season in May of each year. With the research assistance of NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), part of whose mission is to understand and predict changes in climate and weather, the NHC can issue an outlook with 70% confidence that hurricane activity will fall within predicted ranges and that they are accurate 70% of the time. The preseason outlook is determined as close to the beginning of Hurricane Season as possible, June 1, to ensure that it accurately accounts for changes in major climate phenomenon’s such as El Nino/La Nina cycle, Atlantic sea surface temperatures and the West African monsoons-which was the origin of Hurricane Florence. (

So, are the forecasts more accurate?
According to the NHC, there has been a steady reduction in the track errors over time, with average errors in the current decade about 30-40% smaller than they were in the 2000’s and about half of the size or less than they were in the 1990’s. (  Obviously, the main reason the tracks are more accurate is technology, more specifically the satellites and the drones that are able to fly into the eye of the storm to observe the behaviors. Additionally the amount and quality of data available to input in the various model systems help paint an initial picture of the atmosphere and have increased dramatically in the last 20 to 30 years. These factors along with many other advancements in technology have made vast improvements in what scientists and meteorologists are able to predict.

For now we can expect that the errors will continue to decrease, but at some point the predictions will plateau. For now though, be sure that you have some kind of notification system on your phone or at your home to keep you and your family safe in the likelihood of any weather event.