How Far Can a Hurricane Travel Inland?


A hurricane can travel over 100 miles inland before weakening to become a tropical storm or depression. In 1989, Hurricane Hugo brought gusts of nearly 100 miles per hour to Charlotte, North Carolina, 175 miles inland from landfall and caused significant damage as far away as West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Hurricane winds begin weakening rapidly during the first 12 hours after they reach land, but tropical cyclones can cause tremendous damage through heavy rains, flooding and associated tornadoes for days after they have weakened below hurricane force. Slow-moving storms that cover a wide area pose the greatest risk for flooding, especially when they pass over mountainous areas.