Savannah due for a hurricane? - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Savannah due for a hurricane?

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Chatham Emergency Management Agency Director Clayton Scott Chatham Emergency Management Agency Director Clayton Scott
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Is the Coastal Empire due for a hurricane? The Weather Channel thinks so. Savannah is coming in at number 6 on its list of the 10 most vulnerable and overdue hurricane cities.

Savannah has a trifecta of problems -- the biggest projected hurricane storm surge in the United States, a limited number of ways out and a growing population.

It's estimated that it would take 30 hours to get everyone evacuated from Chatham County, the county's population has swollen nearly 20 percent since the last evacuation, Hurricane Floyd in 1999.

In a Category 3 hurricane, just about everywhere from Tybee Island to Pooler Parkway would be under water, with an island through the center of savannah -- down Bull Street and White Bluff Avenue -- cutting off residents from emergency personnel.

A hurricane doesn't have to be massive to cause serious damage. About half the county would be under water in a Category 1 hurricane.

"We are very fortunate that we haven't had a hurricane," Chatham Emergency Management Agency Director Clayton Scott said, "and hopefully we won't have another one for awhile. The last major storm to hit this end of the world was in the late 1800s, and about 2,500 people were killed.

That was the Sea Islands Hurricane of 1893. Although hurricanes missed the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry throughout much of the 20th Century, in the 1800's the area took several direct hits.

Scott said those statistics are proof the area isn't immune.

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