Wrath of Hurricane "Georges"
Georges Lands on the Mississippi
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
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.
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!
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.
Two dead, roofs ripped off hundreds of homes
and businesses, marinas damaged. Flooding along
South coast. Island-wide loss of power.
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.
Five deaths, thousands of homes completely destroyed.
Nearly 20,000 homes flooded. Damage to crops.
200,000 evacuated at the height of the storm.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
- At least 394 people killed in the Caribbean
- 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
- 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!
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.
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
RIDING OUT THE
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
from Lowe's Storm 98'
Remainder is my personal experience - Denise
~ ~ ~ Fascinating Links ~ ~
Images/Movies of Hurricanes
Includes Hundreds of Satellite and Radar Images
from Weather Events in History.
A Hurricane Tracking Application that can connect
to the Internet and get storm coordinates with
the press of a button.
Weather Channel Online
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No more running in the other room to look at