Hurricane Floyd was the sixth named storm, fourth hurricane, and third major hurricane in the 1999 Atlantic hurricane season. Floyd triggered the third largest evacuation in US history (behind Hurricane Gustav and Hurricane Rita, respectively) when 2.6 million coastal residents of five states including Florida were ordered from their homes as Hurricane Floyd approached. The Cape Verde-type hurricane formed off the coast of Africa and lasted from September 7 to September 19, peaking in strength as a very strong Category 4 hurricane—just short of the highest possible rating—on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. It was among the largest Atlantic hurricanes of its strength ever recorded.
Floyd struck The Bahamas at peak strength, causing heavy damage. It then paralleled the East Coast of the United States, causing massive evacuations and costly preparations. The storm weakened significantly, however, before making landfall in North Carolina as a Category 2 hurricane, and caused further damage as it travelled up the Mid-Atlantic region and into New England.
The hurricane produced torrential rainfall in eastern North Carolina, adding more rain to an area hit by Hurricane Dennis just weeks earlier. The rains caused widespread flooding over a period of several weeks; nearly every river basin in the eastern part of the state exceeded 500-year flood levels. In total, Floyd was responsible for 57 fatalities and $4.5 billion ($6.0 billion in 2008 U.S. dollars) in damage, mostly in North Carolina.