Hurricane Floyd-- Disaster in Motion in Southeast Virginia

        The day seemed like any other, calm and quiet as residents of Franklin and Southampton County, Virginia, went about their daily routines. Little did they know, their lives would change forever. It was September 16,1999, when Hurricane Floyd rampaged through Southampton County leaving residents devastated at the loss of many businesses, homes, and in some cases, lives.  Hurricane Floyd visited Southampton County and Franklin, Virginia, and left memories that would last a lifetime.

        The weather forecast had been calling for high winds and heavy rain. Hours later, meteorologists had discovered a hurricane forming off of the coast of North Carolina with possible winds of 140 mph. Most Southampton County residents took this information seriously. Some citizens  prepared for an electricity outage by buying food, candles and etc., while others in their naiveté, did not prepare at all. In no time, the powerful hurricane with winds up to 130 mph had arrived.  Its rains unexpectedly swallowed us up with over four feet of water.  Families watched the disaster with grief knowing there was nothing they could do about it.   Finally, Floyd passed and headed back out to sea. But the worst was yet to come. More and more water filled our streets from the rivers and flooded our homes. Floyd left residents with tears in their eyes as they saw their streets, homes, and pasts flooded. This seemed to be the ending of life as we have known it.

     It would take  years to clean up the mess. However, we had high hopes of recovery. The small county would have to work together as one family to help one another get back on its feet. It would not be easy, though with helping hands and hopeful hearts, we could start over again and rebuild the memories that were lost.

    The following is a chronicle of what happened in Southampton County and Franklin, Virginia, during September and the months that followed:

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Southampton Middle School
23450 Southampton Parkway
Courtland, Virginia 23837