We analyze the performance of a coherent orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) system and a serial decode and forward relay transmission multihop coherent free-space optical OFDM system using an exponential distribution atmospheric turbulence model under the circumstance of strong atmospheric turbulence. The attenuation of the atmospheric channel fading model mainly considers the light intensity scintillation caused by atmospheric turbulence and interaction between the path consumption, the transmitter and the receiver. The OFDM signal mapping method uses quadrature amplitude modulation. We also derive the formulas of the outage probability and symbol error rate of the coherent OFDM and multihop system, respectively, under the conditions described above. In addition, a simulation is performed, which is essential to evaluate the influence of key factors including coherent detection in a number of relay nodes, the mapping orders, and the number of subcarriers, which have a significant effect on the outage performance and the bit error performance of the OFDM-FSO system under the strong atmospheric turbulence.