At Hurricane Florence’s peak of intensity on September 10, its winds roared to 130 mph . But as the Category 4 storm approached the Carolinas, those gusts weakened. When it made landfall, it had been downgraded to a less-threatening-sounding Category 1. That led some Carolinians to cancel their evacuation plans . Problem is, the storm had only gotten more dangerous as its category plummeted. That’s because the deadliest threat from a hurricane is not its wind speed, but the water it brings. Rising coastal waters and flooding from heavy rainfall cause more than 80 percent of hurricane-related deaths. Florence hovered over North Carolina days after landfall, flooding streets and towns with up to 36 inches of rain. The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale does just what it’s supposed to: rank a storm based on its winds speeds. But the scale ignores other threats, like rainfall, storm surge, and the overall […]