Climate change made this monster

More than a million people are fleeing the Carolina coast ahead of Hurricane Florence's impending landfall. When they return, the region they call home will likely be forever changed.

Hurricane Florence is an almost impossibly rare threat. A storm this powerful is exceedingly rare this far north on the US East Coast. Never before has a hurricane threatened the East Coast with nearly 1.2m of rainfall. In just two cases since US records began in 1851 - Hazel in 1954 and Hugo in 1989 - has a Carolina storm led to a 5.5m rise in the ocean tide.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 15, 2018, with the headline 'Climate change made this monster'. Print Edition | Subscribe