Savannah golf communities suffer minimum threats from major hurricanes

     Earlier this week, I wrote about battening down the hatches at our condo in Pawleys Island, SC, in expectation of Hurricane Irene.  Mother Nature, of course, marches to her own beat, and yesterday Pawleys endured a lot of rain and some tropical winds but no hurricane force winds.

        Some customers who ask me for help in finding a golf community home in the southeastern U.S. put only one major limitation on the search –- no coastal location because they do not want any threat

As we walk by the patio furniture now inside our Connecticut house, we are reminded that few places can avoid bad weather.

of a hurricane.  They have lived up north all their lives, and their notion of hurricanes is what they have seen on the Weather Channel or the ghastly news reports about Katrina.  But as my wife and I walk past the patio furniture we hauled from the deck to the sitting room of our Connecticut home yesterday, Irene is a reminder that no one region has a monopoly on dangerous weather.  This monster hurricane is headed toward New England, an unwelcome houseguest that will arrive in the middle of the night.  We expect some local flooding and widespread power outages for the coming days.

        Are there any places along the east coast where the threat of hurricanes is slight, if not nil?  One coastal location does come close to hurricane proof, and that’s Savannah, GA.  Take a look at a map of the eastern seaboard, and you will notice the coastline angles in sharply in northern Georgia.  Atlantic hurricanes, and Irene is no exception, come across the ocean and hook up with the strong pull of the Gulfstream and make a turn north before they get to Savannah.  In fact, the only hurricane of Irene’s proportions that has hit Savannah in the last 100 years came across the Gulf of Mexico and the panhandle of Florida and whacked Savannah in the backside.

        For those northern baby boomers who, all things being equal, would prefer a coastal location if it weren’t for a fear of hurricanes, Savannah is worth consideration.  At the high end, with homes beginning around $1 million, Ford Plantation in Richmond Hill, just south of the city, combines sophistication, history (it was the summer home of car magnate Henry Ford) and a wonderful and playable Pete Dye golf course.  Closer to the city –- just 15 minutes from downtown -- The Landings is one of the largest and best managed golf communities in the east.  At 4,800 acres and with about 8,000 residents, The Landings may seem too large to some, but its six excellent golf courses (Fazio, Hills, Palmer), always in top condition, handle the traffic well, and the golf community’s sheer size means there are activities for every taste inside the gates -– and a wide range of homes whose prices start in the $300s.


        Hurricane Irene will turn out to be a major inconvenience for those of us who live in north central Connecticut, what with expected power outages likely to last a few days.  But for those who have scheduled important personal events this weekend, it will be disheartening.  Our good friends' son is getting married tonight in Garrison, NY, about two hours from our Connecticut home, and much of his family and most of his friends -- and virtually all of the bride’s side -- are from the New York City and Long Island areas, where Irene should make landfall during the early morning hours Sunday.  If the hourly weather predictions hold up, it will be raining steadily in Garrison by the time the reception starts at 6 p.m. and coming down hard when it ends.  The guests will have their eyes on the door and their iPhone weather apps.  We are keeping our fingers crossed that the hurricane cuts these young kids a break.  A good night, please, Irene.

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