Effects of Hurricane Florence that we didn’t expect

When you know a hurricane is making landfall, you typically have started thinking (and worrying) about the damage that may occur from a direct hit.

In fact, Hurricane Florence has caused up to an estimated $50 billion in damage after hitting the Carolinas on the morning of September 14, 2018.

But there are things we never expect to worry about…


When 8 trillion gallons of rain falls on land, there’s bound to be major direct and indirect effects. Extreme flooding is pretty straightforward and people understand the havoc it wreaks on communities. But what about:

  1. FLOATING FIRE ANT COLONIES?!Um, thanks but no thanks.
  2. FISH DEAD ZONESThe Newsweek headline says it all: “Pollution from Hurricane Florence is so bad you can see it from space”. The image at the top of this article is a shot of the organic and pollutant materials spilling out from Carolina rivers into the ocean, which is noted to create “kill zones” for fish for months. Not good.
  3. RISING USED CAR PRICESEver think of all the cars that are lost during a natural disaster? Florence has reportedly taken up to 40,000 total vehicle losses. Families and individuals “will need replacement cars quickly to be able to get back to work,” so demand will be intense.
  4. ECOLOGICAL CATASTROPHESPig poop. You heard me. The waste of 6 million hogs is on a ride along with floodwaters, and you can imagine what that means. Not to mention toxic coal ash being swept up by the currents to run rampant over land and into the sea.
  5. BLOOD DONATION LOSS Because of the tropical storm, “more than 120 blood drives have been canceled in Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia” according to CNN.

What you can do to help:

Like any natural disaster, there aren’t quick fixes for a lot of the damage, hurts and losses that are caused. BUT, there are quick, little choices we can make to have a big impact.


  1. Donate blood ➡️ search here by your zip code to find an opportunity near you through the Red Cross to replenish the blood supply in the region.
  2. One-click donate through Amazon wishlist ➡️ here’s an example of an NC Diaper Bank that has needs for diapers and underwear for those in shelters.
  3. Do your homework ➡️ Check out Charity Navigator for a lineup of vetted organizations that are helping relief efforts.
  4. Have an old car you don’t use much? ➡️ Consider selling it on Craigslist for an affordable price to a family affected by the hurricane (make sure to vet the buyer so you know you’re helping someone who needs it), or donate it to the Salvation Army.

No matter how small, there’s something you can do to help get folks back on their feet. The storm may be over, but the restoration is just beginning.

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