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Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - 1:00am

Dud Hurricane Season? Not In 1893

Updated: 1 year ago.
This photo shows Bay Street in Beaufort, S.C. following the Great Sea Islands Hurricane of 1893. (photo Beaufort County Library)

Tuesday marks the 120th anniversary of Georgia's deadliest hurricane.

The storm remains one of the few major cyclones to strike the state.

Georgia emergency managers today fight the lack of memory most people here have about deadly storms.

The Great Sea Island Hurricane of 1893 killed about 2,000 people.

Three other storms that hit Georgia in the late 19th Century also rank among the nation's most deadly.

Chris Landsea of the National Hurricane Center says just because Georgia's been spared doesn't mean it can't happen again.

"It's partly been luck that it's been so long since Georgia's had a strong hurricane but also just the geography of the way hurricanes move and the U.S. coastline," Landsea says.

He says most coastal residents today have no memory of what a similar storm could do.

"You're talking about deep winds going about 140 miles per hour with stronger gusts," Landsea says. "So that kind of wind damage can be very destructive. But also more of a concern for fatalities is the huge storm surge that could occur as well."

So far, this storm season has been one of the weakest in decades.

That contrasts sharply with pre-season forecasts.

But, meteorologists say the season's peak is weeks away, with lots of activity in the Gulf and Atlantic to watch.

You can see more images, learn more and read the diary entries below at this link.

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