Hurricane Georges

From Academic Kids

This article is about the 1998 hurricane; there was also a Hurricane Georges during the 1980 Atlantic hurricane season.

Template:Infobox hurricane

Hurricane Georges was the second most destructive storm of the 1998 Atlantic hurricane season. It was the sixth storm to make landfall in the United States this season. It also would affect six different countries, more than any other hurricane in years, and more than any other hurricane since. It was the only known Cape Verde-type hurricane to form in the 1998 season.



Hurricane Georges formed on September 15, 1998 as the seventh tropical depression of the season. Fifteen hours later, it became the seventh named storm of the season and 36 hours after forming, it became the fourth hurricane so far, following Bonnie, Danielle, and Earl.

It moved west rapidly into a lot of warm water to allow rapid strengthening. In the late afternoon hours on September 18, Georges had sustained winds of 105 mph (170 km/h) as it continued its westerly track racing at 22 mph.

Major Hurricane

Missing image
Georges on September 19

Georges became a major hurricane early in the afternoon on September 19 with 125 mph (200 km/h) winds. Shipping reports estimated that the storm had winds of 150 mph by 11:00 P.M. that night.

The next day, hurricane hunter data showed that the storm was weakened slightly to 135 mph. Georges was now nearing the Leeward Islands. However, the storm strayed north of the islands and headed towards Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, and Cuba.

Devastation in Hispanola

Georges slammed into Puerto Rico crossing the island completely. It caused nearly $1 billion in damage. Next, Georges crossed the mountainous terrain of Hispanola completely. 533 deaths were directly attributed to Georges in Hispanola (266 in the Dominican Republic and 267 in Haiti), and hundreds of millions of dollars in damage. Georges weakened some more, dropping from 120 to 115 mph while crossing Puerto Rico and then down to 75 mph while approaching Cuba.

Georges in the United States

Missing image
Hurricane Georges landfalling at Key West on September 25th.

Georges sideswiped Cuba on the 24th and made a direct hit on the Florida Keys. Schools were closed in the southern part of the state. However, Miami, Florida and Key Biscayne got squally weather. Georges then moved northwest towards Biloxi, Mississippi where it would make landfall for a fifth time. Georges ravaged many towns in Mississippi with its winds, and storm surge. An occasional tornado wasn't out of the question, either.

President Clinton declared most of the state a disaster area. It caused $31 million dollars in damage in several counties in Mississippi. Georges dissipated near the Alabama-Georgia border on September 29.

Overall, Georges caused $5.9 billion in damage to the United States and its possessions, making it the third costliest hurricane to affect the US in the 20th century.

The name was retired in the spring of 1999 along with Hurricane Mitch.

See also: List of notable tropical cyclones


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