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Small Magnolia Separation



Hurricane Georges
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The Wrath of Hurricane "Georges"

Hurricane Georges
Georges Lands on the Mississippi Gulf Coast


On September 28th and 29th of 1998 - The Mississippi Gulf Coast became the final victim of what I call "The Wrath of Hurricane Georges".


It was born in the Atlantic Ocean as Tropical Depression #7 on September 15th. By the following day, it became "Tropical Storm Georges" (pronounced Zhorz). The storm rapidly increased and organized and by the 3rd day of its existence became "Hurricane Georges".

Georges peaked in strength on the 20th with maximum sustained winds at 150 mph. That made it a strong Category 4 storm. Only two Category 5 storms have ever struck the United States, Camille which hit here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast (see my "Camille" Page Please!) and the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane that hit the Florida Keys.

Georges destruction began when he struck the U.S. Virgin Islands where several people were injured and moderate damage was sustained to homes, piers, hotels, and shops. Fifty-five boats sank and there was widespread crop damage.

Georges had only begun his wrath!

British Virgin Islands: flooding closed roads, there were widespread power outages. St. Kitts and Nevis: Three dead, two missing, 85% of homes were damaged. 3,000 homeless. Damage estimated at $402 million. Guadeloupe: Flooding to the North. Moderate damage to many homes.

Antigua: Two dead, roofs ripped off hundreds of homes and businesses, marinas damaged. Flooding along South coast. Island-wide loss of power.

Puerto Rico: At least three killed directly by the storm, nine others due to health complications. 28,000 people in shelters. Hundreds of homes lost. Damages surpassed $2 million.

Cuba: Five deaths, thousands of homes completely destroyed. Nearly 20,000 homes flooded. Damage to crops. 200,000 evacuated at the height of the storm.

Dominican Republic: At least 210 people reported dead, dozens missing. Over 100,000 people left homeless. 70% of bridges and 90% of banana and other plantations destroyed. Heavy flooding in Santo Domingo and elsewhere. Damages estimated at more than $1 billion.

Then, on to the United States!!!

Florida: 2 deaths. More than 20 inches of rain recorded in the Florida Panhandle. 200 people were rescued from flooded homes. Interstate 10 flooded near the Alabama line. 82,000 persons were without power. 225,000 were evacuated. On the Florida Keys, 173 houses destroyed, major damage to 147 other homes including 75 houseboats. Boats were tossed ashore, extensive damage to trees. At least 150,000 were without power in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale and uncounted others in the Keys. Evacuation orders for 1.4 million people throughout Florida. 600 National Guardsmen were on duty.

Louisiana: Two deaths. About 14,000 people took shelter in the Superdome. A tidal surge topped a levee east of New Orleans, letting loose 8 to 9 feet of water. Power outages left up to 260,000 without power.

Alabama: Flash flood watches were extended for 22 counties. Wind gusts up to 85 mph. 25-foot waves clipped off fishing piers. Mandatory evacuations of two coastal counties. 177,000 without power and 4,675 in shelters. No deaths or major injuries were reported.

And then Mississippi!!

Landfall at Ocean Springs, between Biloxi and Pascagoula. 172 mph wind gusts recorded at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi. Airports and highways closed, curfews imposed, flash-flooding. 230,000 without power, many for up to 10 days after the storm. Major tree damage. Red Cross sheltered 9,000 people. Over 1 million evacuated. Fortunately, no deaths or major injuries reported.

Georges finally decreased back down to tropical storm strength on the evening of the 28th of September and the last advisory was posted on the afternoon of the 29th, finally Georges had become nothing more than "one for the history books!".

The lives of millions of victims will be forever changed in the wake of this deadly and costly storm. There is much work to be done and much healing to take place after a storm of this magnitude.


In all, Georges left the following statistics:
(These were low estimates before the information was totaled)

  • At least 394 people killed in the Caribbean and U.S.
  • Millions without power
  • Millions were forced to leave their homes and retreat to shelters
  • Over 2 million were under mandatory evacuation (this number does not reflect those who evacuated voluntarily).
  • Over 200,000 left homeless
  • Hundreds of Loved Ones Missing
  • Early damage estimates exceeded $3 billion!!!!!


Those of us who endured the "Wrath " will remember Georges.


and what does the next Hurricane Season hold? . . .

* * *


Get Ready, Get Set, Go!


ADVANCE PREPARATIONS
At the start of hurricane season in June, you'll want to outline emergency plans with your family. Practice where to go in the house as a hurricane approaches. Discuss what situations would require you to leave your house rather than stay.

DECIDING WHERE TO STAY
The most important decision you will make in the days before is where you will ride out the storm. You need to decide now whether your home is a smart place to stay.

2 DAYS BEFORE
If you weren't marking your tracking map, start now. The National Hurricane Center updates storm coordinates three times a day.

1 DAY BEFORE
Limit traveling to necessary trips. The roads already will be clogged with people evacuating or making last-minute trips for supplies.

RIDING OUT THE STORM
You have made all possible preparations and now the storm has arrived.

HOLD ON TO YOUR HAT FOR A WILD RIDE AND SAY YOUR PRAYERS
If the storm is headed your way and you haven't evacuated in time, prayer is your only option. Take care of your loved ones and yourself.


Statistics obtained from Lowe's Storm 98'
Remainder is my personal experience - Denise 98'


~ ~ ~ Fascinating Links ~ ~ ~


Images/Movies of Hurricanes
Includes Hundreds of Satellite and Radar Images from Weather Events in History.


Tracking The Eye
A Hurricane Tracking Application that can connect to the Internet and get storm coordinates with the press of a button.


The Weather Channel Online
Now you can tune in the weather while your online! No more running in the other room to look at radar...


Animated email Message In a Bottle

E-mail me to share storm stories!

 
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