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2018 hurricane season comes to an end

2018 hurricane season comes to an end.jpg
2018 hurricane season comes to an end.jpg
Posted at 6:40 PM, Nov 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-30 18:40:00-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - For many people, it felt like the 2018 hurricane season was never going to end.

But Friday marks the final day of what turned out to be a destructive season.

Eight of the named storms eventually became hurricanes. Two of those, Hurricanes Florence and Michael, were classified as major storms during their lifetime.

It's those two storms that define the 2018 hurricane season.

Florence, reached category 4 status twice, but made landfall as a category 1 near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina on September 14. It's estimated that Florence dumped nearly 40 inches of rain in parts of North Carolina, causing nearly $18 billion in damage for the Carolinas.

In North Florida and South Georgia, it was Hurricane Michael that left a mark. Michael was the strongest storm to hit the continental United States since Hurricane Andrew in 1992. 

This hurricane made landfall at Mexico Beach as a powerful category 4 storm on October 10. More than 1 million people were left without power across four states, with an estimated $14 billion in damage.

Those who sheltered in place as Michael passed all had similar stories.

"We heard the winds and trees and stuff falling," said Anitra Powell / a Bainbridge resident. "We were also on Facebook and we were seeing other damage there was as stuff like that. I just thank God it missed me."

Many small communities were devastated.

"Our residents were shocked, just like all of the emergency responders were, of the depth of the destruction we received here. We have a small knit community that we always pull together," said Cory Thomas, the deputy director of Miller County Emergency Management Agency. "We're going to pull through this as a community. I think we're going to rise out of this and be a better community than we were."

Luckily, organizations like the Small Business Association and FEMA have been able to help many of those who were displaced by Hurricane Michael. More than 99,000 survivors have already registered with FEMA to get help getting back to normal.

"FEMA is designed to get your home into a safe, habitable, and functional situation so you can begin your recovery process," said Deanna Frazier, a FEMA Spokesperson. "That's where the small business association can come in and provide low interest loans to homeowners and renters. They can get you back to your pre-disaster condition."

It will likely take several more months, maybe even years, for survivors to fully rebuild. But the community is determined to recover from what this hurricane season left behind.