As Hurricane Florence approaches, former DPS head talks lessons learned after Hurricane Floyd

Josh Chapin Image
Thursday, September 13, 2018

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Richard Moore said he's been having flashbacks. He's even having trouble sleeping.

"You don't see a graphic of a storm like that coming right at us," he said. "Well, it's been a long time."

Moore knows what it means to have a tropical system like Florence developing in the Atlantic.

MORE: Full coverage of Hurricane Florence

He was the head of the North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety under former Gov. Jim Hunt. He helped the state recover from Hurricane Floyd and wrote a book about his experiences. He's sharing some of those in advance of Florence making landfall.

"The biggest thing is, it ain't over until it's over," he said. "Just pay attention. Don't assume you're not going to be in harm's way. We had 66,000 homes destroyed in Floyd -- almost all of them by water. The pain of the destruction by water is so much more complete and total than it is by wind. Wind, you may lose a piece of furniture or a wall but water destroys everything."

Moore also said it's important to think more long-term than immediate needs

"Think about the things you really care about," he said. "People make sure they have bread in the refrigerator and that their car is full of gas, but they haven't thought about their insurance documents. They haven't thought about the proof of what they might need if all of a sudden they really had damage to their homes."

Moore said of the 53 people that died in Floyd, only a handful of those were killed by wind.