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Thursday, March 8, 2007

Hurricane tally: History says Jacksonville, Savannah safest

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    The state of Georgia is blessed with good genes, geographically speaking.  Between 1950 and 2005, according to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, only one storm of consequence has struck the Georgia coast, hurricane David in 1979, which made landfall just about at the Georgia and South Carolina borders.  The Category 2 hurricane, with winds at their highest around 100 mph, caused power outages, flooding and two casualties.
    In those same five and a half decades, the Atlantic coast of Florida bore the brunt of 13 hurricanes, including the catastrophic Andrew in 1992, a Category 5 (winds above 155 mph), and Donna in 1960, a Category 4 (winds 131 to 155 mph).  South Carolina took eight direct hits in the same time, including the Category 4 Hazel (1954) and Hugo (1989), and North Carolina a dozen, but only Hazel as high as Category 4.
    As we know from recent memory with Katrina, the Gulf Coast, from Texas to the panhandle of Florida, is at high risk of damaging hurricanes.  Before Katrina, there was Camille in 1969, another Category 5 whopper.  As you look at the NOOA’s map of hurricane strikes, there is a consistent stream of circles (strikes) from the area of South Padre Island, TX to Panama City, FL, then sporadic activity down to the Naples/Fort Myers area.  From there it is a pretty constant line of strikes up and around the tip of Florida (and through the Keys) until you get to the Vero Beach area, where the aforementioned David first made landfall in 1979.  From there up the coast to the northernmost point in Georgia, we count only Hurricane Dora in 1964, which landed just south of Jacksonville.  It was the only hurricane recorded in St. Johns County since such things began to be noted in 1851. 
    By the numbers since 1955, you are more at risk of a hurricane if you live on Long Island, New York than if you live from Jacksonville to where the borders of Georgia and South Carolina meet.  For those who are hurricane obsessed, the areas of Jacksonville and Savannah are historically a safe bet.
    The hurricane map is available at the NOAA’s website [click here].
Read 4068 times Last modified on Monday, 02 April 2007 15:52
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Larry Gavrich

This blog was conceived and is published by me, Larry Gavrich, a former corporate communications executive who founded HomeOnTheCourse, LLC, in 2005.  Our firm advises baby boomers and others seeking a lifestyle in which golf is a major component.  My wife Connie and I own a home in Connecticut (not on a golf course) and a condo at Pawleys Plantation in Pawleys Island, SC, on a Jack Nicklaus layout.  We began our search for our home on the course more than 15 years ago, and the challenges of the search inspired me to research golf communities and write objective reviews of them.