The flooding, widespread debris and power outages from Fran lasted for days.
On September 5, 1996, Chief Meteorologist Chris Hohmann announced Fran's evening arrival to the North Carolina.
Downloading the ABC11 app is the best way to stay up-to-date on the latest conditions from Hurricane Florence.
Brenda Phillips from Garner remembered lying in bed as strong winds whipped around her home.
"We could hear pine trees all around our house cracking and snapping and breaking and falling through the other trees," Phillips said. "I just remember laying in bed and thinking please don't hit the house. Just don't hit the house. It was awful. Needless to say we had no power. There were trees everywhere around our yard."
Lil Wells of Angier said she was trapped for days by debris and flooded roads.
"Chainsaws were so helpful," she said.
Survivors said early preparation is critical as the Triangle braces for Florence.
On social media, Candace Richardson said freeze water in zip lock bags for your cooler and water to drink. And have a first aid kit.
"Just keep others in prayer, checking on elderly, the pets and just try to be safe," Wells stated.
Hurricane Florence has put those old lessons put to the test.