Remembering The Flood of the Century

Source: University Archives

The Flood of the Century; Hurricane Dennis and Floyd Damage

The Flood of the Century; Hurricane Dennis and Floyd Damage; Reproduced by Permission. Photo by Glynis W. Litwin.

Staff Person: L. K. Gypsye Legge


Autumn on campus is a time of happy reunions among those returning, and soon many are engaged in the various academic and social activities of the term. It seems only a few weeks before we are welcoming returning graduates for Homecoming. While many of the memories are happy ones, there are somber occasions to remember as well.

It has been ten years since the inundations of Hurricanes Dennis and Floyd caused “The Flood of the Century” in eastern North Carolina. Campus was closed at 2 PM on September 15, 1999, by order of Governor Hunt, and did not reopen until September 29. While Special Collections has many records of that time from the media, the holding of the University Archives are not especially strong on this topic. Slowly, more items are coming to the Archives. The image below is one of several dozen donated by Glynis Wells Litwin, who had just transferred to ECU that semester.

Taken from 5th Street, the image shows Jenkins Art Building behind one of the oaks that fell as a result of the storm. More images, information about the immediate effect of the Flood of the Century, and some of the resulting research will be on display in Joyner Library Special Collections and in the showcase on the 3rd Floor of Mendenhall Student Center through the week of Homecoming.