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Georges Pummels Caribbean, Florida Keys, and U.S. Gulf Coast

georges photo

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top Storm Review (Apr 12, 1999 Update)

From September 21-30, 1998, Hurricane Georges left a trail of destruction in the Caribbean region and across the southern U.S. Gulf coast. Estimates indicate more than 600 people were killed (or still missing) as the storm pushed its way across the islands of the Caribbean. The Caribbean islands where preliminary death totals are reported so far include Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, and the Bahamas. In the U.S. mainland, there were four Georges-related fatalities. An elderly woman died from heat stress while being evacuated from New Orleans. Two more people died in Florida and Louisiana in fires started by candles during power outages, and another person died as a result of an auto accident on a slick highway near Crestview, Florida. Puerto Rico reported 12 fatalities.

Damage estimates for the U.S. including Puerto Rico are now $5.9 billion. Extreme flooding was reported with rainfall amounts in excess of 20 to possibly 30 inches along portions of the southern U.S. Gulf coast. Mobile, Alabama received 13.0 inches of rain from the storm, which boosted the monthly total to 23.0 inches, breaking the September record of 16 inches set 100 years ago. The highest individual storm total reported thus far is Munson, Florida, which reported 25.0 inches of rain from Georges.

Following are reports from individual states and countries as provided by the Southeast Regional Climate Center and other sources:

Alabama: Gusts to 85 mph reported. 25-foot waves on immediate coast. 177,000 customers without power. No deaths or major injuries. Severe flooding in southern Alabama, with many homes and businesses flooded. Downtown Mobile flooded in many areas.

Florida: 18-30 inches of rain in portions of Panhandle, with NEXRAD estimates exceeding 35 inches for one small area near the AL state line. Mandatory evacuations total about 225,000. Severe flooding, high winds, and isolated tornadoes caused extensive damage. Nearly 700,000 without power at some point during storm. Approximately 200 residents in the Florida panhandle were rescued by the Coast Guard Sunday night. A portion of Interstate 10 near the Alabama border was destroyed or washed over. One death reported statewide.

On the Florida Keys, 90 mph winds were reported for >10 hours during storm passage; heavy structural damage from the storm, according to the Florida Division of Emergency Management. More than 900 homes suffered minor damage, 500 major damage, and more than 150 homes were completely destroyed, including 75 houseboats on so-called "Houseboat Row." All Key West residents were without power, and residents are under a "boil water" order. Utility restoration expected to take 7-10 days. Big Pine Key and Kudjoe Key were hardest hit, including severe storm surge damage. Since the highest elevation in the Keys is 14 feet, high water quickly swept into homes and businesses.

Puerto Rico: A major disaster. Damages estimated to exceed $2 billion. Three direct deaths; nine others from medical complications (heart attacks, etc.). Power and water out to 80% of the 3.8 million people on island. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) estimates 33,113 homes destroyed in Puerto Rico, with nearly 50,000 more suffering major or minor damage. The storm destroyed 75 percent of the coffee crop, 95 percent of Puerto Rico's plantains, and 65 percent of its chickens.

US Virgin Islands: No deaths and little major damage was reported. Only about 20 homes were destroyed and another 50 damaged. Adherence to building codes likely prevented further damage. Most structures on the three islands had been rebuilt to FEMA standards after hits by Hugo (1989) and Marilyn (1995). Damage reported is almost solely restricted to agriculture (coconuts & mangoes) and livestock losses.

Antigua: Two dead; major structural damage island-wide; major coastal flooding; major marina, boat, and port damages.

St. Kitts & Nevis: Three dead, 3000 homeless; 85% of all homes damaged. Early damage estimate is $402 million. Infrastructure damaged (most hospitals, police stations, schools damaged); severe damage to airport terminal and control tower.

Cuba: Five dead; 2100 homes destroyed; 40,000 homes damaged. 20,000 homes flooded in Holguin Province. Major crop damage; 200,000 evacuated during and after the storm.

Haiti: 94 deaths at last tally. 60 missing. Flooding in Port-au-Prince, in Artibonite Valley, Cap-Haitien.

Dominican Republic: At least 210 dead, more than 500 missing. About 100,000 homeless. 70% of all bridges damaged or out; 90% of all plantation crops destroyed; damages estimated at more than $1 billion.

top Satellite/Radar Images of Hurricane Georges

September 26-28 - Mobile (KMOB) NEXRAD - Derived 48-hour Storm Totals
September 28 - Radar Image - at 1:07 pm (CDT)
September 28 - Radar Image - at 4:57 am (CDT)
September 28 - MPEG movie - 4.7mb
September 28 - MPEG movie - 2.6mb
September 28 - Colorized IR - Center Moving Inland Over Mississippi
September 27 - Visible - Approaching Mississippi Coast
September 25 - Colorized IR - Over the Florida Keys
September 25 - Visible - Over the Florida Keys
September 22 - Visible - With Tropical Storms Ivan and Jeanne
September 22 - Visible - Striking Dominican Republic
September 22 - Colorized IR - With Well Defined Eye
September 21 - Visible - Near Virgin Islands
September 18 - Visible
NESDIS Operational Significant Event Imagery

top Precipitation Table

Preliminary Precipitation Reports (Based on daily rainfall data from the Climate Prediction Center)

Rainfall in affected states for 6-day period ending at 12Z on Sep 30, 1998 - amounts listed for totals exceeding 10.00:

DAYS = Number of days of data for Sep 25-30, 1998 period --
Note that some stations did not report for all 6 days
ID = National Weather Service Station ID
STATION = Station name
COUNTY = County for the station
ST = State 
ELEV = Elevation in feet
LAT/LON = Latitude and Longitude in degrees and hundredths
RAINFALL = Total reported rainfall (inches) for Sep 25-30 period, ending at
12Z on the 30th

DAYS ID STATION COUNTY ST ELEV LAT LON RAINFALL 6 CEW CRESTVIEW OKALOOSA FL 190 30.78N 86.52W 20.11 5 ALUA1 ANDALUSIA COVINGTON AL 250 31.30N 86.53W 19.57 4 NCVF1 NICEVILLE OKALOOSA FL 60 30.52N 86.50W 19.53 6 GVLA1 GREENVILLE BUTLER AL 470 31.85N 86.65W 19.30 5 VPS VALKARAISO OKALOOSA FL 30.50N 86.50W 19.19 3 GRGA1 GEORGIANNA BUTLER AL 300 31.67N 86.73W 19.15 4 HRT MARY ESTHER OKALOOSA FL 30.42N 86.68W 18.01 4 BWTA1 BREWTON ESCAMBIA AL 85 31.07N 87.05W 17.60 6 DEFF1 DE FUNIAK SPRINGS WALTON FL 230 30.73N 86.07W 17.55 3 OCSM6 OCEAN SPRINGS JACKSON MS 30.23N 88.67W 15.67 3 WHTA1 WHATLEY CLARKE AL 170 31.65N 87.72W 15.15 2 KGNA1 KINSTON COFFEE AL 270 31.23N 86.18W 14.27 5 GVAA1 GENEVA GENEVA AL 145 31.05N 85.88W 14.25 6 MOB MOBILE MOBILE AL 204 30.68N 88.24W 13.71 6 NPA PENSACOLA ESCAMBIA FL 30 30.33N 87.30W 13.51 5 DIBM6 D'IBERVILLE HARRISON MS 30.48N 88.90W 12.23 6 BIX BILOXI HARRISON MS 26 30.40N 88.92W 12.11 5 EVRA1 EVERGREEN CONECUH AL 290 31.45N 86.93W 12.02 6 CODA1 CODEN MOBILE AL 12 30.38N 88.23W 11.82 6 CLDA1 COFFEEVILLE CHOCTAW AL 46 31.77N 88.13W 11.78 6 BEAA1 BEATRICE MONROE AL 178 31.73N 87.20W 11.77 2 GNVA1 GENEVA GENEVA AL 106 31.03N 85.83W 11.57 6 CLBA1 CLAIBORNE MONROE AL 50 31.62N 87.55W 11.48 6 LEKM6 LEAKESVILLE GREENE MS 51 31.15N 88.56W 10.65 1 PINA1 PINE APPLE WILCOX AL 250 31.87N 86.98W 10.40 6 TOMA1 THOMASVILLE CLARKE AL 405 31.92N 87.73W 10.20

All rainfall reports for LA, MS, AL, GA, SC, and FL

Rainfall in Puerto Rico for 2-day period ending at 12Z on Sep 23, 1998 - amounts listed for totals exceeding 10.00:

DAYS = Number of days of data for Sep 22-23, 1998 period --
Note that some stations reported only for 1 of the 2 days
ID = National Weather Service Station ID
STATION = Station name
ST = State or Territory
ELEV = Elevation in feet
LAT/LON = Latitude and Longitude in degrees and hundredths
RAINFALL = Total reported rainfall (inches) for Sep 22-23 period, ending at
12Z on the 23rd

DAYS  ID     STATION               ST  ELEV   LAT     LON   RAINFALL
  2   COMP4  COMERIO               PR   604  18.22N  66.22W  25.68  
  1   JAYP4  JAYUYA                PR  1560  18.22N  66.57W  18.13  
  2   CIEP4  CIDRA                 PR  1279  18.35N  66.13W  17.19  
  2   RORP4  OROCOVIS              PR   500  18.22N  66.40W  16.76  
  1   CAIP4  CAGUAA                PR  1475  18.13N  66.05W  15.74  
  2   BAUP4  OROCOVIS              PR   773  18.23N  66.45W  14.38  
  1   SLJP4  SAN LORENZO           PR   330  18.17N  65.98W  14.27  
  2   PCYP4  PONCE                 PR   253  18.07N  66.58W  14.25  
  1   NGIP4  NAGUABO               PR  2020  18.28N  65.78W  13.78  
  2   SLKP4  SAN LORENZO           PR   490  18.15N  65.95W  13.54  
  2   GUSP4  JUNCOS                PR  1115  18.25N  65.83W  13.18  
  2   AIBP4  AIBONITO              PR   850  18.15N  66.22W  12.32  
  2   GURP4  GURABO                PR   137  18.25N  65.97W  12.01  
  2   VEDP4  RIO GRANDE            PR    40  18.36N  65.81W  11.83  
  2   CAJP4  CAGUAS                PR   426  18.25N  66.10W  11.04  
  2   BZAP4  CAGUAS                PR   623  18.28N  66.08W  11.03  
  2   TRUP4  TRUJILLO ALTO         PR    49  18.35N  66.00W  10.92  
  2   TOVP4  VILLALBA              PR   525  18.13N  66.47W  10.92  
  2   ZLBP4  COAMO                 PR        18.12N  66.24W  10.90  
  2   NGHP4  NAGUABO               PR   640  18.28N  65.79W  10.53  
  2   LARP4  LARES                 PR   951  18.30N  66.87W  10.27  
All rainfall reports for Puerto Rico

top Noteworthy Hispaniola and Puerto Rico Hurricanes

List of modern day (post 1950) hurricanes that have struck Hispaniola and/or Puerto Rico. Click on name to see track. For more information on these hurricanes visit the Satellite's Eye Gallery discussion area.

1996 - Hortense
1989 - Hugo
1987 - Emily
1980 - Allen
1979 - David
1967 - Beulah
1966 - Inez
1964 - Cleo
1963 - Flora
1963 - Edith
1958 - Ella
1956 - Betsy
1955 - Katie
1954 - Hazel

top Additional information and Links

National Hurricane Center
Storm '98 Hurricane Central
Climatic Extremes and Weather Events
Hurricanes--Climatology and Reports

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