Hurricane Georges: Wikis


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Hurricane Georges
Category 4 hurricane (SSHS)

Georges as a Category 4 hurricane
Formed September 15, 1998
Dissipated September 29, 1998
155 mph (250 km/h) (1-minute sustained)
Lowest pressure 937 mbar (hPa; 27.67 inHg)
Fatalities 604 direct
Damage $5.9 billion (1998 USD)
$8 billion (2009 USD)
Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, Florida Keys, Mississippi, Alabama, Southeastern Louisiana, Florida Panhandle
Part of the
1998 Atlantic hurricane season

Hurricane Georges (pronounced /ˈʒɔrʒ/) was the seventh tropical storm, fourth hurricane, and second major hurricane of the 1998 Atlantic hurricane season. The tropical cyclone made seven landfalls on its long track through the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico during September, becoming the second most destructive storm of the season. Georges killed 604 people, mainly on the island of Hispaniola, and caused nearly $6 billion (1998 US dollars, $7 billion 2006 USD) in damages, mostly in Puerto Rico and Hispaniola.

The hurricane affected at least six different countries (Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Cuba and the United States) and Puerto Rico, a Commonwealth of the United States — more than any other hurricane since Hurricane Inez of the 1966 season, and more than any other hurricane until Hurricane Wilma in the 2005 season which affected ten different countries.[1]


Meteorological history

Storm path

A tropical wave exited the coast of Africa on September 13. Moving westward, the large system quickly developed a closed circulation, and was classified Tropical Depression Seven on the 15th. A strong upper-level ridge forced the depression to the west-northwest, where warm water temperatures allowed it to strengthen to a tropical storm on the 16th. Georges's circulation developed strong banding features around a well-organized Central Dense Overcast, and with the aid of a developing anti-cyclone, Georges attained hurricane status late on September 17.[1]

Georges as a Category 3 hurricane

Conditions became nearly ideal for continued development, including warm water temperatures, low-level inflow to the hurricane's north, and good upper-level outflow. A banding eye developed, and Georges reached major hurricane strength on September 19 while 675 miles (1085 km) east-southeast of Guadeloupe. By the 19th, an upper-level anticyclone was well-established over Georges and satellite pictures suggested that the hurricane was beginning to strengthen rapidly, as indicated by the cooling cloud tops, increased symmetry of the deep convection, and the warming and contracting of the well-defined 40 miles wide eye as an rapid intensification continued, and Georges peaked at a very dangerous Category 4 storm with 155 mph (250 km/h) wind and a 937 minimal pressure on the late 19th and early 20th. At that time, Georges was the most intense, strongest storm since Hurricane Hugo and alongside Hurricane Luis, it is one of the largest major hurricanes in the Atlantic with hurricane force windfields extending more than 150  miles (250 km) from the center and with a more than 300  mile (490 km) wide tropical storm force windfield. Shortly after peaking, upper-level wind shear from the development of an upper-level low weakened the hurricane the 20th in the afternoon, as the central pressure had risen 26 mb as Georges approached the Leeward Islands.[1]

Georges making landfall in Biloxi, Mississippi

On September 21, 1998, after weakening considerabely, Category 3 Georges made landfall directly on Antigua and 3 hours later in St. Kitts, though its 175  miles (280 km) wide tropical storm force windfield affected all the Leeward Islands. After weakening to a Category 2 hurricane over the Caribbean, upper-level shear decreased, and Georges strengthened a bit before making landfall near Fajardo, Puerto Rico as a 110 mph (175 km/h) Category 2 hurricane later that day. Over the mountainous terrain of the island, the hurricane weakened again, but over the Mona Passage it again re-intensified to hit eastern Dominican Republic with winds of 120 mph (195 km/h) on the 22nd. Like in Puerto Rico, Georges was greatly weakened by the mountainous terrain, and after crossing the Windward Passage, it struck 30 miles (48 km) east of Guantánamo Bay, Cuba on the 23rd. Well-defined upper-level outflow allowed the hurricane to remain well organized, and while paralleling the northern coastline of the island Georges retained minimal hurricane status.[1]

Hurricane Georges reached the Straits of Florida on September 24, and as it had done earlier in its lifetime, quickly restrengthened to Category 2 status on the 25th due to warm water temperatures and little upper-level shear. It continued to the west-northwest, and struck Key West later on the 25th with winds of 105 mph (165 km/h). Despite moving over warmer water, Georges only managed to peak at 110 mph (175 km/h) in the Gulf of Mexico, likely due to its disrupted inner core. A mid-tropospheric anticyclone pushed the hurricane slowly north-northwestward, forcing Georges to make its 7th and final landfall near Biloxi, Mississippi on the 28th. Within 24 hours, Georges had weakened to a tropical depression, and due to weak steering currents the storm looped over southern Mississippi, then drifted to the east. The weak circulation moved eastward over the interior of the Florida Panhandle, and dissipated on October 1 near the Florida/Georgia border.[1]



Lesser Antilles

Puerto Rico

In the days prior to the hurricane's arrival, thousands of citizens in the Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico prepared for the major hurricane by boarding windows and purchasing supplies. Puerto Rican governor Pedro Rosselló activated the island's National Guard, opened 416 shelters, and enacted a temporary prohibition on alcohol sales. More than 28,000 people across the island evacuated their homes to the shelters in the northern portion of the island. Both the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the American Red Cross deployed workers there with supplies for a potentially deadly event.[2][3] The National Hurricane Center issued hurricane warnings for the island 37 hours prior to Hurricane Georges's landfall.[1]


Due to initial forecasts of the hurricane brushing the northern portion of the country, the Dominican Republic was caught off guard. Instead, like in Puerto Rico, Georges traversed the entire country, and passed close to Santo Domingo. Neighboring Haiti expected the worst, opening shelters and evacuating vulnerable people from low-lying coastal areas.[4]


Prior to making landfall, more than 200,000 people were evacuated from coastal areas in eastern Cuba. In the potentially impacted area, Cuba's revolutionary army was sent to farm lands to harvest crops that could be destroyed during the storm. Members of the Cuban government travelled door-to-door to alert everyone of the hurricane. In addition to this, President Fidel Castro spoke live on national television to explain the country's plans to withstand the hurricane, as well as ensuring a quick recovery effort by using all of the nation's resources.[5] The Cuban Government issued Hurricane Warnings 30½ hours prior to landfall.[1]

United States

Initial forecasts of a southeastern Florida landfall forced over 1.2 million to evacuate, including much of the Florida Keys. Despite the mandatory evacuation order, 20,000 people, including over 7,000 Key West citizens, refused to leave. Some of those who remained to ride out the storm were shrimpers, whose boats were their entire livelihood. Insurance companies refused to insure some of the older shrimp boats, leading shrimpers to ride it out with all they had left.[6] Due to lack of law enforcement, those who stayed in Key West went through red lights, double-parked, and disobeyed traffic laws. Long-time Florida Keys citizens noted the solitude of the time and enjoyed the island for how it once was, rather than the large crowds of tourists.[7]

In the northern Gulf of Mexico, Georges was forecast to attain major hurricane status and make landfall in southeastern Louisiana. Because of this, portions of the state were evacuated, including New Orleans. There, the Louisiana Superdome was, for the first time in its history, used as a refuge of last resort for those unable to evacuate New Orleans. More than 14,000 citizens rode out the storm in the facility, causing difficulties to supply necessities. The building had no problems related to the weather, though evacuees looted the building, stole furniture, and damaged property. However, the damage was much less than in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Many citizens in southern Mississippi were told to leave due to a mandatory or recommended evacuation. Of those in the evacuation area, 60% actually left. Most of those who stayed remained because they believed their house was safe enough for the storm. Of those who left, most went to a relative's house in their own county.[8] Prior to making landfall, Georges's track was very uncertain. This forced for the mandatory evacuations of Alabama's two coastal counties, Baldwin and Mobile Counties, with a combined population of over 500,000 people.[9] Despite the order, only 67% of the area actually left to a safer place. Most of those who remained stayed because they believed their house would be able to withstand the hurricane. The majority of those who did leave went to a relative's house in a safer portion of the state.[8] In the days before making landfall, only 22% of the population in recommended evacuation areas along the Florida Panhandle actually left. However, most of them were prepared to leave if the situation became worse. Those who did leave were concerned about the severity of the storm, while those who stayed felt their home was safe enough for the hurricane's effects. Floridians who evacuated typically left for a friend or relative's house, and only went to another area of their county.[8]


Impact by Area
Country State Deaths Damage
Antigua and Barbuda
2 $159.9 million
St. Kitts and Nevis
5 $484 million
Dominican Republic
380-2,000+ $1.2 billion
209 $179 million
1 Unknown
6 $305.8 million
United States Alabama 1 $201.4 million
Florida 0 $472.1 million
Georgia 0 $4.3 million
Louisiana 3 $30.1 million
Mississippi 0 $676.8 million
Puerto Rico 7 $2 billion
U.S. Virgin Islands 0 $2 million
Total 2,224+ $5.9 billion

A large and long-lasting hurricane, Hurricane Georges brought torrential rainfall and mudslides along much of its path through the Greater Antilles. In all, the hurricane caused $5.9 billion (1998 USD, $8 billion 2009 USD)) in damage to the United States and its possessions, and resulted in 604 fatalities. In the two months after Georges's final landfall, the American Red Cross spent $104 million (1998 USD, $150 million 2009 USD) on relief aid through Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi, making Georges the costliest disaster aid in the program's 125-year history.[1]

Leeward Islands

Upon moving through the Leeward Islands, Georges brought strong winds and heavy rainfall, amounting to a maximum of 7.5 inches (190 mm) at St. John.[1]


In Antigua, strong winds caused severe property damage, mostly caused to roofs. 10-20% of houses were greatly impacted, including three schools. High winds during the passage of the hurricane downed telephone and power lines, causing loss of communication and power across much of the island.[10] Between Barbuda and Antigua, Georges killed 2 people and left 3,800 homeless.[11]


The weakening hurricane spared the island as it passed 25 miles to the north, causing moderate damages(houses and roofs, uprooted trees, power lines and outages, beach erosion) especially in Grande-Terre. In Basse-Terre, minor to moderate damages was common; the main extensive damages was the banana crops, devastated between 85% to 100% that cost millions of francs. The maximal rainfall was 5 to 6 inches in this area.

The Met office in Desirade, east of Guadeloupe had a 63 mph wind and a 88 sustained gust. In Raizet, they experienced a 43 mph wind and a maximal gust between 65-70 mph. The minimal pressure fell to 1000 mb for several hours.

Météo France forecast 12–24 hours before a 75 mph winds with gust near 100 mph and a minimal pressure around 980 mb, meaning the worst has been avoid.

St. Kitts and Nevis

After passing through Antigua, Georges produced strong winds of between 110 mph (175 km/h) to 115 mph (185 km/h) while passing over St. Kitts, downing power lines, telephone lines, and trees across the island. Lack of electricity resulted in damage to water facilities, as well. Georges's high winds caused extensive property damage, damaging 60-85% of the houses on the island, and destroying 25% of homes leaving 1/5 houses uninhabitable. Many schools, businesses, hospitals, and government buildings lost their roofs, while the airport experienced severe damage to its main terminal and control tower, limiting flights to the daytime. St. Kitts' economy was disrupted from severe agricultural losses, including the devastation of 50-60% of their sugar crop. In addition, damaged hotels and piers created a long-term impact through lack of tourism — an industry the island relies on. A total of 1,440 homes were totally destroyed on the island leaving 2,500-3,000 homeless. Most of the commercial and public buildings lost their roofs. Shelters on the island sustained severe damage during the storm, some becoming unusable following assessment.

In the other part of the country, Nevis fared better. Like on St. Kitts, high winds downed power and telephone lines, damaging the water system there. 35% of homes on the island were damaged, though none were destroyed. Rainfall and debris killed several hundred livestock and seriously damaged coconut trees, amounting to $2.5 million (1998 USD) in agricultural damage. There were no casualties reported on the island, and damaged amounted to $39 million (1998 USD).[12]. Overall damages in both islands from Hurricane Georges caused 5 fatalities, left 3,000 homeless, and resulted in $458 million (1998 USD) in damage on the poorest island in the Leeward Islands, although the global infrastructures in the islands was not expensives.[12]

In other nearby islands, Georges impact was relatively minor to moderate. Power outages, flooding, and minor to moderate structural damage was common.[9]

Puerto Rico

Debris runoff in central Puerto Rico
Damage from mudslides

On making landfall, Georges brought a 10 foot (3 m) storm surge, along with 20 foot (6 m) waves on top of it.[1][13] The hurricane spawned 2  F2 tornadoes on the island, though they caused little damage. Georges dropped immense precipitation in the mountain regions, amounting to a maximum of 30.51 inches (775 mm) in Jayuya with many other locations reporting over 1 foot (300 mm).[1][14] The mountain flooding drained off in the island's rivers, causing every river to overflow its banks. Near the coast, the surfeit of water carved new channels from the record discharge rate. The storm's strong winds caused beach erosion in many places along the coastline. Eroded beaches, flooding, and debris left many roads impassable or destroyed, isolating some villages on the western portion of the island.[15] Over 22,000 people were sheltered in 139 shelters in cities throughout the island. All experienced power outages, and after the storm passed through, lack of water and sewer systems was a serious problem.[8]

Puerto Rico Damage

Hurricane Georges was the first hurricane to cross the entire island since the San Ciprian Hurricane in 1932.[15] Its large circulation brought fierce winds to the entire island, damaging 72,605 houses and destroying 28,005 homes. This left tens of thousands homeless after the storm's passage.[1] High winds downed nearly half of the island's electric and telephone lines, leaving 96% of the population powerless and 8.4% of telephone customers without service. Lack of electricity greatly damaged the water system, resulting in the loss of water and sewers for 75% of the island. Georges's deluge of rainfall caused significant damage to the agricultural industry, including the loss of 75% of its coffee crop, 95% of its banana or plantain crop, and 65% of its live poultry.[15]

Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport recorded a 69 knots sustained wind and a 81 knots sustained gust and a 979.7 mb lowest pressure. The lowest recorded was in Roosevelt Roads Naval Station with 971.4 mb while the highest sustained wind and gust reported at an official site was 78 knots and 93 knots, respectively, at 2302 UTC 21 September. One of the most important observations reported was in Fajardo, Puerto Rico where the Civil Defense office measured a sustained wind of 96 knots with gusts to 113 knots at 2130 UTC 21 September and a 983.1 mb.

Total rainfall in Puerto Rico from Georges

In all, Hurricane Georges caused $1.9 billion in damage (1998 USD, $2.75 billion 2009 USD), but due to well-executed warnings there were no reported casualties.[1]

In the nearby small island of Culebra, Georges destroyed 74 houses and damaged 89 others, although damage estimates are not available there.[15]


Though there are no recorded amounts, satellite-derived rainfall estimates show up to 39 inches (990 mm) of rain falling in the mountainous terrain of the countries. This heavy rainfall resulted in mudslides and flooding, killing a total of 589 people across the island and leaving more than 350.000 homeless.[1]

Dominican Republic

In the Dominican Republic, Georges brought strong winds and very heavy rains, along with a 7 foot (2 m) storm surge. Nearly 10  hours of continuous rainfall resulted in mudslides and overflown rivers across the mountainous country, damaging many cities along the southern coastline, including the capital. 120 mph (195 km/h) winds downed and uprooted trees across much of the country, littering streets with debris and mud. Thousands of houses were destroyed, while many were completely destroyed from the flooding and winds. The entire country was without electricity during the aftermath of the storm, damaging water and communication systems.[16] Heavy wind damage and flooding caused extensive damage to the airport in Santo Domingo, restricting usage to military and non-commercial flights.[17]

Toppled trees blocked hundreds of streets in Santo Domingo

Most impacted by Hurricane Georges was the agricultural industry. The areas hardest hit by the hurricane coincided with the country's main crop-growing areas, including the provinces around Santo Domingo. After a severe drought in 1997, extreme rainfall damaged around 470,000 acres (1,900 km²) of food crops, including various types of vegetables, fruits, and roots — some of the country's main diet food. Substantial amounts of tobacco and sugar plantations, the country's most important export crop, were severely damaged. The extreme flooding caused great losses in the poultry industry, an important economy in the area. The Dominican Republic had to import significant amounts of rice and other crops to compensate for the losses.[18]

Death toll reports were slow in the wake of the storm, but a total of 380 people (est. 2,000 or more) died from Hurricane Georges.[1] Damage in the Dominican Republic amounted to $1.2 billion (1998 USD, $1.8 billion 2009 USD).[19]


Upon reaching Haiti, Georges was a weakened hurricane, but it still brought heavy rainfall across the entire country. The capital city of Port au Prince was largely unharmed, with the exception of flooding in low-lying coastal areas, damaging the main commercial port.[17] The rest of the country, however, experienced a significant number of mudslides due to deforestation along the mountains.[20] These mudslides destroyed or severely damaged many houses, leaving 167,332 homeless.[1] Damage was greatest along the northern coastline from Cap-Haitien to Gonaives due to the flooding and mudslides.[21] On the southern coast, the head of a U.S.-based medical team, stranded for several days by flooding in the remote town of Belle Anse, anticipated a rise in malnutrition, disease, homelessness and poverty.[22][23] Lack of electricity led to a total disruption of Haiti's water supply system, causing a decrease in sanitary conditions across the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.[24] In all, 209 people died in Haiti.[1]

Like in the Dominican Republic, the agricultural sector suffered extreme damage. After a severe drought in 1997, Georges's severe flooding stopped any chances of recovering quickly. Most of the country's significant crop land, including Artibonite Valley, suffered total losses. Up to 80% of banana plantations were lost, while vegetable, roots, tubers, and other food crops were ruined. In addition, thousands of small farm animals were either killed or lost.[18] Total agricultural losses amounted to $179 million (1998 USD, $250 million 2009 USD).[25] The country requested food assistance in the aftermath of the hurricane to alleviate the serious losses.[18]


Upon making landfall, Hurricane Georges produced torrential rainfall, amounting to a maximum of 24.41 inches (620 mm) at Limonar in the province of Guantánamo. Several other locations reported over a foot (300 mm) of precipitation as well.[1] Storm surge of 4 – 6 feet (1 – 2 m) was expected along the eastern coastline, along with dangerous waves on top of the surge. Though winds were reduced by the time Georges hit Cuba, it still retained winds of 75 mph (120 km/h), along with stronger gusts in squalls.[26]

The hurricane's heavy rainfall resulted in mudslides along the mountainous terrain. This, combined with strong winds, damaged 60,475 homes, of which 3,481 were completely destroyed.[1] In the country, 100,000 were left homeless due to Hurricane Georges.[27] High winds downed power lines, trees, and telephone poles, leaving many in eastern Cuba without electricity in the aftermath of the storm. Along the coast, severe flooding washed out railroad and highway bridges. Though eastern Cuba was the area most affected, the central and western portion of the island, including Havana, experienced torrential rains and strong wind gusts.[28] There, strong waves broke over the seawall, and caused heavy flood damage to some of the town's old buildings.[29]

Like in Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, the severe drought during the El Niño of 1997 exacerbated the flood's disruption to crops in eastern Cuba. The heavy rainfall from Georges damaged the crops greatly, despite the effort to harvest them prior to its arrival. Up to 70% of the plantain crop, a chief food in the country's diet, was destroyed. The sugarcane crop fared badly as well, limiting one of the country's important export crops. The coffee and cocoa plantations also suffered from the hurricane, further damaging the country's food supply.[18]

Well-executed evacuations and warnings limited the death toll to six,[1] while damage amounted to $40 million (1998 USD, $52.9 million 2009 USD).[30]


Though Georges was forecast to move through the Bahamas, it passed to the south of the archipelago. It brought 70 mph (110 km/h) winds to Turks and Caicos Islands and South Andros, as well as precipitation in the storm's outer bands. Though damage was minimal, one person died in the country.[1]

United States

South Florida

Downed trees in Key West along the old houseboat row on South Roosevelt Blvd.
Damage to the seawall along South Roosevelt Blvd. on the south side of Key West, Florida

The eye of the storm passed near Key West about midday.[6] Upon making landfall, Hurricane Georges brought a storm surge of up to 12 feet (3.6 m) in Tavernier, Florida, with similar but lesser amounts along the Florida Keys.[6] The islands, some only 7 feet (2 m) high and 300 yards (275 m) wide, are easily flooded,[7] and with up to 10 foot (3 m) waves many parts of the Overseas Highway were under water. Strong winds downed palm trees and power lines, leaving all of the Keys without power. Georges's waves overturned 2 boats in Key West,[6] damaged 1,536 houses, and destroyed 173 homes, many of which were mobile homes. Rainfall amounts amounted to a maximum of 8.41 inches (210 mm) in Tavernier, while other locations reported lesser amounts.[1] Damage in the Florida Keys amounted to $200 million (1998 USD, $250 million 2009 USD).[31]

Further up the coast, the hurricane's outer bands produced light rainfall of up to 3 inches (80 mm).[1] Strong winds knocked down power lines, leaving 200,000 without power in the Miami area. Damage was minimal, and there were no reported casualties.[6]


Chandelur Islands before (top) and after (bottom) Hurricane Georges

Georges's strong storm surge caused extensive beach erosion and flooding on the Chandeleur Islands, the first line of protection for the coasts of Louisiana and Mississippi. The long island chain was reduced to a few banks of sand in the Gulf. Grand Gosier, the home to a flock of the endangered Brown Pelicans, experienced severe flooding, destroying their habitats.[31]

Upon making landfall, Hurricane Georges brought a storm surge peaking at 8.9 feet (2.4 m) in Pointe a la Hache, Louisiana, along with higher waves on top of it. Located on the weaker side of the storm, rainfall totals were low, and amounted to a maximum of 3 inches (8 cm). Winds were generally light, peaking at 45 mph (70 km/h).[1] Overall, damage was minimal in Louisiana. High winds downed power lines, leaving 160,000 without electricity across the state.[32] In the state, Hurricane Georges caused $25 million (1998 USD, $32 million 2009 USD) in damage, but no deaths due to well-executed evacuations.[1]


Water flowing over Old Hwy 67 and MS 15 near their intersection near D'Ibervill on September 29, 1998 during the September 1998 flooding caused on the Tchoutacabouffa River by Hurricane Georges.

Upon making landfall, Hurricane Georges brought a storm surge of up to 8.9 feet (2.7 m) in Biloxi, Mississippi. While stalling over the southern portion of the state, it produced torrential rainfall, amounting to 16.7 inches (420 mm) in Pascagoula. The heavy rainfall contributed to significant river overflowing, including the Tchoutacabouffa River at D'Iberville, which set a record crest of 19 feet (5.7 m). The overflown rivers in the southern portion of the state flooded homes and forced more to evacuate just days after the hurricane came through.[1] In addition, squall lines spawned multiple tornadoes, damaging evacuation shelters in Pascagoula and Gautier.[32]

Beach erosion occurred along the coastline, resulting in some property damage on beach houses. Around Biloxi, coastal casinos and the shipyards experienced little from the storm. Inland, high winds and flooding caused extensive damage to homes.[33] Georges's winds downed power lines, leaving 230,000 without power after the storm.[9] After the storm, over 6,800 people stayed in 49 different shelters. One shelter in Forrest County was damaged, forcing the citizens to another camp. The shelters experienced roof damage and severe power outages, though one problem that could not be overcome was the language barrier with immigrants.[8] Overall, Hurricane Georges caused $665 million (1998 USD, $790 million 2009 USD) in damage, though no deaths due to well-executed evacuations.[1]


Total rainfall in the United States from Georges

Upon making landfall, Georges brought a strong storm surge peaking at 11.9 feet (3.6 m) in Fort Morgan, along with 25 foot (7.6 m) waves on top of it.[1][9] While moving slowly through the state, it dropped torrential rainfall, peaking at 29.66 inches (75 cm) in Bay Minette. Outer squalls spawned tornadoes in the southeast portion of the state, though damage from them was minimal.[1] Along the coastline, heavy rainfall and strong waves caused extensive property damage. In Gulf Shores, for example, 251 houses, 16 apartment buildings, and 70 businesses experienced significant damage. On the barrier island, Dauphin Island, the hurricane destroyed 50 houses and left 40 uninhabitable.[31] Further inland, high winds downed power lines and trees, leaving 177,000 people without power after the storm.[9] 17 shelters housed 4,977 people in the aftermath of the storm. Damage to the buildings were minimal to non-existent, with the only direct effect from the hurricane being a brief interruption of electricity.[8]

Overall, damage in Alabama amounted to $125 million (1998 USD, $164 million 2009 USD). Freshwater flooding in Mobile resulted in one death, the only death in the United States.[1]

Florida Panhandle

Upon making landfall, Hurricane Georges produced a storm surge of up to 10 feet (3 m), with higher waves on top of it. As it moved slowly through the northern Gulf Coast, it produced torrential rainfall amounting to a maximum of 38 inches (960 mm) in Munson, with other locations reporting over 20 inches (510 mm). Winds were light, peaking at 50 mph (80 km/h) along the coast, though Eglin Air Force Base recorded a wind gust of 90 mph (145 km/h). Outer squalls produced a tornado outbreak of 28 twisters, most of which occurred in northwestern Florida.[1]

6,525 people stayed in 34 shelters in the Florida Panhandle, though the shelters experienced little from the hurricane.[8] Damage amounted to $100 million (1998 USD, $127 million 2009 USD), though no deaths were reported.[31]


In Georgia, the remnants of Georges dropped 4 inches (100 mm) of rain across Franklin County.[34] In Appling County however, rainfall of 5-7 inches closed several roads and left $10,000 (1998 USD) in damage.[35] Atkinson County also reported flood damage of $15,000 (1998 USD) in damage.[36] Stewart County, received over 5 inches (130 mm) of rain which caused extensive flooding that left several roads impassable. Damage from the storm totaled to $33,000 (1998 USD).[37] In the town of Lumpkin, a funnel cloud was reported but there were no damage.[38] In addition to the flooding, the remnants of Georges spawned numerous tornadoes across the state of Georgia. In Randolph County, an F1 tornado uprooted several trees and injured one person. Damage from the tornado totaled $500,000 dollars (1998 USD).[39]


Has TD 7 became Georges, it was one of the very few named storm before 35° W to affect the USA mainland as a category 2 hurricane. The others been Hurricane Donna, Hurricane Hugo, Hurricane Isabel and Hurricane Ivan.

Since Hurricane David, Georges was the deadliest hurricane that been surpassed by Hurricane Mitch a few weeks later as well as the costliest since Hurricane Andrew; if Hurricane Georges wasn't weakened before reaching the Lesser Antilles total damage supposely to cost more than a single billion USD dommage.

Georges was also the costliest natural disaster in the Caribbean history as it affect more than 15 differents islands including all the Leeward Islands, Greater Antilles except Jamaica, well to the south.


Due to intense death toll and destruction, the name Georges was retired in the spring of 1999, and will never again be used for an Atlantic hurricane. It was the first retired name storm since Hurricane Hortense, that affect the same region. It was replaced with the name Gaston, though that name was itself not retired in 2004 season and re-used in the 2010 season.

See also

External links


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae John L. Guiney (1999-01-05). "Preliminary Report: Hurricane Georges, 15 September - 01 October 1998". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 2007-08-24.  
  2. ^ Staff writer (1998-09-21). "Hurricane Georges pounds Caribbean islands". Associated Press (via the Wayback Machine). Retrieved 2007-08-24.  
  3. ^ Federal Emergency Management Agency (1998-09-28). "FEMA operates In both response and recovery modes after hurricane Georges hits Puerto Rico and heads toward Florida". ReliefWeb. Retrieved 2007-08-24.  
  4. ^ Staff writer (1998-09-22). "Georges tears across Dominican Republic". CNN (via the Wayback Machine). Retrieved 2007-08-24.  
  5. ^ Greg Butterfield (1998-10-08). "Hurricane Georges: A tale of two systems". Workers World. Retrieved 2007-08-24.  
  6. ^ a b c d e Staff writer (1998-09-26). "Hurricane Georges spares Florida ... for now". CNN (via the Wayback Machine). Retrieved 2007-08-24.  
  7. ^ a b Staff writer (1998-09-24). "Widespread South Florida evacuation urged". CNN (via the Wayback Machine). Retrieved 2007-08-24.  
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Post, Buckley, Schuh & Jernigan, Inc. (August 1999). "Hurricane Georges Assessment: Review of Hurricane Evacuation Studies Utilization and Information Dissemination" (PDF). United States Army Corps of Engineers / Federal Emergency Management Agency. Retrieved 2007-08-24.  
  9. ^ a b c d e Associated Press (2002). "Hurricane Georges' damage reports". USA Today. Retrieved 2007-08-24.  
  10. ^ Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (1998-09-21). "Impact situation report #2 - Hurricane Georges". ReliefWeb. Retrieved 2007-08-24.  
  11. ^ Gary Padgett (September 1998). "Monthly Global Tropical Cyclone Summary". Retrieved 2007-08-24.  
  12. ^ a b "Hurricane Georges". St. Kitts/Nevis History Page. 2001-10-16. Retrieved 2007-08-24.  
  13. ^ "Hurricane Georges hits Puerto Rico and moves on". American Radio Relay League. 1998-09-22. Retrieved 2007-08-24.  
  14. ^ David Roth. "Hurricane Georges — September 19 - October 1, 1998". Tropical Cyclone Rainfall Climatology. Retrieved 2007-08-24.  
  15. ^ a b c d Shawn P. Bennett and Rafael Mojica. "Hurricane Georges Preliminary Storm Report". National Weather Service. Retrieved 2007-08-24.  
  16. ^ "Updates from the Islands: Georges — Dominican Republic". 1998. Retrieved 2007-08-24.  
  17. ^ a b Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (1998-09-25). "Caribbean, Dominican Republic, Haiti -- Hurricane Georges Fact Sheet #2". ReliefWeb. Retrieved 2007-08-24.  
  18. ^ a b c d Economic and Social Development Department (1998-10-13). "Hurricane "Georges" Causes Extensive Crop Damage in Caribbean Countries". Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.  
  19. ^ Staff writer (1999-06-11). "Georges devastates Dominican Republic". Associated Press. Retrieved 2007-08-24.  
  20. ^ Michael Norton (1998-09-30). "Haiti Hurricane Death Toll Hits 147". Associated Press. Retrieved 2007-08-24.  
  21. ^ Richard Stuart Olson, et al. (2001). "Hurricane Georges and the Dominican Republic". Special Publication 38 - The Storms of '98: Hurricanes Georges and Mitch. University of Colorado at Boulder (via the Wayback Machine). Retrieved 2007-08-24.  
  22. ^ Clint Williams (1998-09-26). "Hurricane Georges: Cobb medical team stuck in Haiti". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. pp. A06.  
  23. ^ Gerónimo Lluberas (1998-09-26). "The Impact of Hurricane Georges on the area of Belle-Anse, Haiti" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-08-24.  
  24. ^ Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (1998-09-26). "Impact Situation Report — Hurricane Georges — Republic of Haiti". ReliefWeb. Retrieved 2007-08-24.  
  25. ^ Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (1998-10-08). "Eastern Caribbean, Dominican Republic, Haiti — Hurricane Georges Fact Sheet #9, Fiscal Year (FY) 1999". United States Agency for International Development. Retrieved 2007-08-24.  
  26. ^ Richard Pasch (1998-09-23). "Hurricane Georges Public Advisory Number 35". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 2008-08-24.  
  27. ^ "Damage Reports from 1998". Hurricane City. Retrieved 2007-08-24.  
  28. ^ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (1998-09-29). "OCHA Geneva Situation Report No. 5". United Nations. Retrieved 2007-08-24.  
  29. ^ Staff writer (1998-09-27). "Cuba: 4 dead; thousands left without homes". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2007-08-24.  
  30. ^ Roger A. Pielke Jr., Jose Rubiera, Christopher Landsea, Mario L. Fernández, and Roberta Klein (2003-08-01). "Hurricane Vulnerability in Latin America and The Caribbean: Normalized Damage and Loss Potentials" (PDF). Natural Hazards Review 4 (3). Retrieved 2007-08-28.  
  31. ^ a b c d Staff writer (1998-10-02). "Gulf Coast damage estimates trickle in for Georges". CNN. Retrieved 2007-08-24.  
  32. ^ a b Staff writer (1998-09-29). "Georges deluges Gulf Coast". CNN (via the Wayback Machine). Retrieved 2007-08-24.  
  33. ^ "Flood Observations: Damages and Successes". Building Performance Assessment: Hurricane Georges In The Gulf Coast. Federal Emergency Management Agency (via the Wayback Machine). Retrieved 2007-08-24.  
  34. ^ NCDC (1998) Georgia Event DetailsURL Accessed: July 13, 2006
  35. ^ NCDC (1998) Georgia Event DetailsURL Accessed: July 13, 2006
  36. ^ NCDC (1998) Georgia Event DetailsURL Accessed: July 13, 1998
  37. ^ NCDC (1998) Georgia Event DetailsURL Accessed:July 13, 2006
  38. ^ NCDC (1998) Georgia Event DetailsURL Accessed: July 13, 1998
  39. ^ NCDC (1998) Georgia Event DetailsURL Accessed: July 13, 1998

Hurricane Georges Hurricane Georges 28 sept 1998 2043Z.jpg
Meteorological history · Effects by region: Lesser Antilles · Puerto Rico · Dominican Republic · Haiti · Cuba · Florida · Mississippi · Alabama · Louisiana · Tornado Outbreak
Tropical cyclones of the 1998 Atlantic hurricane season
Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale
TD TS 1 2 3 4 5


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