‘Hurricane expert’: Savannah overdue for hurricane

Georgia dodges hurricanes like Paula Deen dodges cholesterol screenings, but maybe not for much longer.

The coolest driveway in America would be under water if a hurricane hit Savannah.

The coolest driveway in America would be under water if a hurricane hit Savannah.

The prognosticators at The Weather Channel, based in Atlanta, are picking on our neighbors to the south, saying Savannah is the 4th most hurricane-overdue city in the U.S.

I’ve lived in Georgia all my life and remember a scare or two, including one-way traffic on I-16, but there hasn’t been any serious hurricane damage since way back in 1893, when the “Sea Islands Hurricane” killed more than 1,000.

The most damage I’ve ever seen personally was when tropical storm Alberto stalled atop the west side of Georgia, flooding Albany and other cities.

The most-overdue for misery is Honolulu, which, despite sitting smack-dab in the middle of  warm ocean, has never been hit by a cyclone.

Other cities on the fear-mongering list are:

#2: San Diego. Cool water off the coast seems to deter hurricane’s visiting that beautiful place. Only one hurricane, in 1858, has ever struck California.

#3: New York City. Seems weird to think of a Yankee hurricane, but it has happened twice before, in 1821 and 1893, so it can happen again. If it does, Manhattan could see 30 feet of storm surge, according the The Weather Channel.

#5: Tampa. How is a Florida city on this list? A few years ago I thought every city in the state had hurricane damage, but apparently the second home of Cuban cigars is lucky, it’s not been hit since 1921.

Here’s hoping Dr. Rick Knabb, whose job title is “hurricane expert,” has got this one totally wrong.

23 comments Add your comment

RedNeck Rick

June 1st, 2011
8:24 pm

Well, the question is: are we prepared?


June 1st, 2011
8:32 pm

Beautiful photo, where exactly was it taken?

Jawja Boy

June 1st, 2011
8:38 pm

The photo is the drive at Wormsloe Plantation, dating back to colonial days.

Rik Roberts

June 1st, 2011
8:39 pm

Of course we are prepared, there are all of those street barriers for directing all lanes of I-16 in case of an evacuation.


June 1st, 2011
8:40 pm

Rik Roberts

June 1st, 2011
8:41 pm

I believe that is Wormsloe Plantation.


June 1st, 2011
8:48 pm

Considering that Savannah is above sea level I do not understand why the caption of the picture says it will be underwater. New Orleans was underwater after Katrina because the levee infrastructure was compromised.

The 1800's?? Really?

June 1st, 2011
8:52 pm

It’s not uncommon for a tropical storm or hurricane to hit Long Island, NY and parts of NYC. It’s happened before in the last 10 years and the last 10 years before that and the last 10 years before that…

Wormsloe Staff

June 1st, 2011
9:08 pm

Colonial Wormsloe….established in 1736 by Noble Jones. The live oaks were planted in 1891 by Jones’ great-great grandson, but the road itself dates to the mid-1700s. The longest live oak avenue in the world, it leads due south 1.5 miles from the front gate on Skidaway Road to the tabby ruins of Jones’ fortified house. The state historic site is open Tue-Sun 9-5. http://www.gastateparks.org/wormsloe


June 1st, 2011
9:08 pm

1979 Hurricane David did some damage…Savannah has been lucky…as for the 1-16 traffic jam, that was the evacuation of Hurricane Floyd. Love the article though…you seem as if you want one to hit for a news story…trust me I live here…I don’t want one.

SIlver Creek Doug

June 1st, 2011
9:12 pm

I lived through Hurricane David in 1979; in fact, the eye went right over our house and we played football outside for about an hour under gray skies at that time.

My mom still lives in Savannah and she lives less than a mile from the tidal marshes at the southern end of the county. Flood projections from a Category 2 hurricane would put her house under water. She marvels that she hasn’t been hit since.

For those who may remember, Hugo in 1989 was 6 hours from making landfall in Savannah and turned north to Charleston; that was the last real threat I can remember.


June 1st, 2011
9:18 pm

Wormsloe would be under water because of storm surge. According to The Weather Channel article, the only place in Chatham County that would be dry is the Savannah airport.

Barack Obama

June 1st, 2011
9:42 pm

Has anyone heard any good Anthony Weiner jokes?

Gen Neyland

June 1st, 2011
10:06 pm

Hurricanes. It’s a roll of the dice IMO. Prognosticator’s come and prognosticator’s go, but in the big picture of hurricane landfall, if it’s time, it’s time. Anybody can take a wag at the unknown. The Gloomer’s will look like a genius if it comes to pass and we, the masses, will forget any prediction that fail to produce disaster…

I Hate Canada

June 1st, 2011
10:56 pm


June 1st, 2011
11:43 pm

Savannah may have been impacted by fewer hurricanes than chance would suggest, but that does not mean that the city is an more likely to be hit by a hurricane in the future than any other location along the east coast of the United States. There is no such thing as being “overdue” for purely random phenomena. Flipping a coin three times and getting heads three times does not mean that tails is any more likely to follow on the next toss. Of course, that does not mean that the people of Savannah should be less vigilant in preparing for the possibility of a hurricane hitting the city.


June 1st, 2011
11:54 pm

This entire article, and the premise it is based on, is foolish. A random event is an event that is equally likely, or equally unlikely, to occur on each occasion. Savannah’s relative good fortune with regard to hurricane strikes thus far this century does not make it any more susceptible to a strike by a hurricane in the future any more than the three strikes it sustained in the late 1800’s make it less likely to be hit in the future.

And the last direct hit on Savannah was David, in 1979 (Saffir-Simpson category 1, with winds of 77 mph as it made landfall at Tybee). I was there. Hugo was a near miss. Floyd chugged right up the coast and hit North Carolina.

Savannah may be hit by a hurricane this year, or it may not. So, by the way, might Atlanta or Augusta. One may recall that Hugo did some pretty fair damage to Charlotte after it made landfall near Charleston; the same could occur in the ATL if a big storm chugs up the barrel of the Savannah River. Either way, the odds of such an occurrence happening have nothing to do with the events of the years preceding it.


June 2nd, 2011
5:20 am

Savannah is the 4th overdue city for a hurricane . its right behind Las Vegas Neveda.


June 2nd, 2011
11:49 am

Jawja Boy

June 1st, 2011
8:38 pm
The photo is the drive at Wormsloe Plantation, dating back to colonial days.

That is not possible. As anyone knows, there were no cameras in colonial days.

Dawg Trainer

June 3rd, 2011
10:07 am

Hugo survivor. Charleston lucked out big time…if the eye came in at Edisto Beach instead of Charleston Harbor, peninsular Charleston would have been underwater and would have had 130 mph winds instead of 90. Hugo was still a Category 1 hurricane when it hit Charlotte. He liked the interstates…followed I-26 to Columbia, then took I-77 to Charlotte!

Ivan Cohen

June 3rd, 2011
1:54 pm

The weather forecasters are going to be right on top of any impending hurricane headed in the direction of Savannah. This won’t have anything to do with the ratings of their stations. Someone should tell Dr. Knapp he is giving some gentle souls who reside here moments of anxiety with his loose talk about our area being due for a hurricane. How would he like it if someone told him that he was due for an enema?

Savannh Born

June 6th, 2011
12:41 pm

Uh… Last I checked, Savannah is below sea level. We had a horrible flood back in the ’90’s with half of town was really flooded. A good rain and Savannah gets flooded. A hurricane would indeed ruin much of the area.


June 9th, 2011
1:33 am

Well I wish the Big Supercomputer Government would dip down into it’s Trillion Dollar Pockets and Play a Supporting Role in Unraveling the Upcoming Climate Scenario. They always run interference in the Average Man’s Life by Playing the Statistics Card…where are they now???
No one has the computer capabilities of the Government’s Computers, it’s akin to Treason for them to let everyone FRY in the NEW Climate Models of above 100 temps NORMS expected within 60 years!
They need to Prepare the Public, since they Wanted the Responsibility of having a Federal Government Role…OK, how bout some good ole fashion work on the problem with the Superior Capabilities, not just pass it off to the “Educators” who just have been given Limited Computer Time!