Just short of Cat 5 at landfall, and it could still potentially be called a Cat 5 when all is said and done.
It's not often that a hurricane strengthens this quickly near land. It wasn't more than three days ago when it was expected to hit land as a high-end Cat 2 or low-end Cat 3. Just yesterday it was still expected to hit as a Cat 3.
This is the exact reason why meteorologists tell people to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
What was left of the eye wall passed 15 miles south of us here in N.C. My wind gage topped out at 48 mph. It cleared a lot of dead wood out of our woods and uprooted 2 of my apple trees. They will now become bonsai trees. My 3 barns all held up fine, even the one that was built pre Civil War. Florence didn’t do much damage but we sure had floods in the area.
my nephew, Ian, and his team went down there, part of the clean up crew. there are many trucks that went down there to work. Hate to think of all the paperwork with the home owners insurance companies. etc.