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On the night of August 27, 1893, ahuge "tropical cyclone," the largestand most powerful storm to hit S.C.until Hurricane Hugo in 1989, madelandfall just E of Savannah, Ga.With gusts as high as 120 mph and astorm surge as 12 ft., the worstof the storm struck the Sea Islands nearBeaufort - St. Helena, Hilton Head,Daufuskie, Parris and smaller islands were devastated.
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The storm killed more than 2,000 and left more than 70,000 destitute incoastal S.C. and Ga. Losses in livesand property were most catastrophicamong blacks who were former slaves or their descendants. ClaraBarton and the American Red Crosslaunched a massive relief effort, the first after a hurricane in U.S. history.Donations in 1893-94 fed, clothed,and sheltered thousands.