AC's on Hit List for a Hurricane - NBC 10 Philadelphia

AC's on Hit List for a Hurricane



    AC's on Hit List for a Hurricane
    Rough surf lashes a pier on the Gulf Coast of Texas as Hurricane Alicia bears down, Aug. 1983. (AP Photo)

    Atlantic City is known for its casinos and gambling. But now, it may have a new label. The experts say it could be especially vulnerable to a direct hit from a hurricane.

    Hurricane expert Dr. Richard Knabb with the Weather Channel says Atlantic City is among five cities that are due for a hurricane hit because those cities haven’t had one in a long time. They are Miami, New York, Tampa Bay, and Savannah, Ga. followed by Atlantic City. Knapp writes:

    New Jersey is a perhaps surprisingly hurricane-prone state, but it has been decades since the last significant hurricane impact there. 

    A Category 1 hurricane made landfall near Atlantic City in 1903.  That was the last time the center of a hurricane crossed the coast of New Jersey.  The center of a hurricane does not have to cross the coast to have significant impacts, however.  Numerous other hurricanes since then have moved parallel to the Jersey Shore, producing some significant impacts from storm surge, waves, and strong winds. 

    Perhaps most notable are the “Long Island Express” of 1938 and especially the “Great Atlantic Hurricane of 1944”, both occurring during the month of September.  The damage in New Jersey in 1944, due to hurricane-force winds and a storm surge of up to near 10 feet, was especially severe to numerous homes, piers, and boardwalks along the coast, and nine lives were lost in the state. 

    Hurricane Donna took a similar path in 1960, but with lesser impacts.  Hurricanes Gloria in 1985 and Bob in 1991 were close calls that ultimately did not produce much damage in New Jersey.

    Knabb says all five cities face greater odds of getting hit because this is an “extremely active” hurricane season.

    Knabb says the best defense is to prepare.

    “You gotta get that plan in place now because the people in New Orleans, Galveston and other places have fared much better when they had a plan in place and implemented that plan," Knabb says.