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Remembering Bertha 12 Years Ago

Hurricane Bertha hit Eastern North Carolina in July, 1996, making her the strongest hurricane to hit the area so early in the season in the past 100 years.

Our second tropical storm of the season was named on Thursday and she just happens to have a name I remember well.  It was early July of 1996 when I first started tracking what was then a strong tropical wave.  By July 5th Bertha had become a tropical storm and by the 7th a category 1 hurricane.  Bertha formed just south and west of the current storm but she tracked on a course that brought her just north of the Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico on the 8th.  By July 12th the storm crossed the North Carolina coastline near Topsail Beach as a category 2 hurricane with sustained winds of 105 mph.  The storm continued northward into Eastern North Carolina and  Bertha turned out to be the strongest  hurricanes in over 100 years to move inland into our area during the month of July.  Bertha brought very high water levels and flooding to the streets of Washington and many trees fell across highways east of Interstate 95.  Now our attention is focused once again on a new Bertha just 12 years later.  She's definitely got my attention.  

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