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In Their Own Words

August 28, 1893

Savannah Newspapers Covered 1893 Hurricane

Covering the previous night’s hurricane, one of the most deadly to strike the U.S., a Savannah newspaper reporter wrote:

“This morning Savannah is storm-swept. The beautiful city is demolished. Shade trees are strewn along the streets, and the beautiful parks have been stripped of green foliage. Roofs of tin peeled off like paper strips… . Sturdy brigs have been blown into the marshes … and ominous reports of flood and loss come up from quarantine.Rice and truck are ruined… . The storm seems equal to the gale of 1881… .”

Source: Savannah Press, Aug. 28, 1893.

With headlines like “Ruin of the Winds,” “Damage Beyond Estimate,” “Hundreds of Buildings Unroofed,” “Hutchinson’s Island Inundated,” and “A Night of Terror in the City,” the Savannah Morning News gave further evidence of the magnitude of the hurricane that had hit the previous night:

“Almost on the anniversary of the great hurricane of 1881, Savannah was swept last night by one of the severest storms it has ever known. An estimate of the damage is yet impossible. Many lives, it is believed, have been lost on Hutchinson’s Island, and on the lowlands of the river. The numbers, however, will probably never be known… . The storm was at its highest pitch between 10 and 11 o’clock, when the wind reached a velocity of 70 miles an hour, the greatest ever recorded by the weather bureau… . The rain fell in torrents and was blown like mist, beating against walls and building in sheets, flooding the streets and penetrating every crevice, beating its way under roofs, smashing window panes and pouring in streams into residences and business houses, deluging everything.”

Source: Savannah Morning News, Aug. 28, 1893.