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01 description of Hurricane Georges passage
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September 28 1998
Georges was a minimal category 1 hurricane when it emerged over the Florida Straits. It gained strength before hitting the Keys, becoming a minimal category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 100 mph. Georges was a large hurricane with the tropical storm force winds, > 39 mph, extending out to 175 miles from the center. The northeast and southeast quadrants of Georges were the strongest, as evidenced by most of the damage in the Keys occurring with easterly, southeasterly, and southerly winds. The greatest storm surge flooding occurred on the south coasts of the Keys with the most destructive storm surge flooding damage being located between Cudjoe and Big Pine Keys. The storm surge was estimated to be up to 6 feet in these areas. LOCATION MAX. SUSTAINED WINDMPH MAX. GUSTMPH Cudjoe-Big Pine Keys 105 from SE estimated 125 from SEest. Marathon EOC ---- 110 from SE Sombrero Key C-MAN Buoy 92 from SE 108 from SE Boca Chica NAS 92 from SE 105 from SE Duck Key 81 from SE 97 from SE Key West Airport* 69 from NE 87 from NE *did not record highest winds due to power failure. LOCATION STORM TOTAL RAINFALL AMOUNT INCHES Sugarloaf Key south side 8.65 Tavernier 8.41 Key West International Airport 8.38 Cudjoe Key north side 8.20 Duck Key 1.95 LOCATION EST. STORM SURGE FEET ABOVE NORMAL TIDE Cudjoe to Big Pine Key 5-6 ft. Big Coppitt to Sugarloaf Key 4-5 ft. Marathon to Grassy Key 4-5 ft. Key West to Boca Chica Key 3-4 ft. The lowest pressure measured during the hurricane, 974.4 mb, occurred at the Dry Tortugas C-MAN station when the eye passed over around 6 PM 9/25/98. The northern part of the eye passed over Key West between noon and 1:30 PM 9/25/98. However, the pressure data was unavailable due to power failure. DAMAGES - Estimated $200 million in the Florida Keys - 1,536 homes were damaged or destroyed. - 614 of those homes were mobile homes. - 75 of those homes were houseboats. - 173 homes were considered destroyed. As of 10/9/98, there were no deaths or injuries in the Keys directly related to hurricane Georges.
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