Top 10 Most Devastating Hurricanes in American History – updated article with additional information
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Meteorologists measure the severity of hurricanes using the Saffir-Simpson scale. According to this scale, category 1 is the weakest hurricane and category 5 is the strongest. Actual hurricane damage in the U.S. is measured by loss of lives and damage to the environment and property.
The biggest loss of life from a hurricane in the US occurred in 1900, in Texas. A category 4 storm hit the city and flooded Galveston, causing 8,000 recorded deaths; although experts estimate that more than 12,000 people may have died. More recently, meteorologists have developed technology to offer better predictictions of the movements of hurricanes. As a result of increased technology and analysis, there are faster advisement times and trajectory potentials which offer a lowered percentage of lost lives. Each storm of increased size has also brought with it higher damage costs.
These are the most damaging hurricanes that have hit the US in modern times.
1. Hurricane Katrina
Certainly the most devastating of hurricanes in American recent history. It occurred in August, 2005 and it killed nearly 2000 people and caused damage estimated at 200 billion dollars. It was recorded as a hurricane category five and listed as one of the top five hurricanes to hit the U.S. coast in history.
2. Hurricane Andrew
A category five storm that nearly blew South Florida away in 1992. Gusts reached an incredible 170 miles per hour, and the storm caused approximately 30 billion dollars in damage.
3. Hurricane Wilma
Another monster storm from 2005. Largely lowered in priority due to Katrina, Wilma wreaked havoc on Cape Romano, Florida, killing 31 people and causing $21.5 billion in damage.
4. Hurricane Rita
Yet another storm from the infamous 2005. It hit the US coast just a few weeks after Hurricane Katrina, causing the death of over 150 people, as well as 6 billion dollars worth of damage.
5. Hurricane Camille
Out of all the destructive hurricanes to have hit the US, this is one of the worst. A force 5 storm, it hit Mississippi in 1969. Wind speeds reached 180 mph. More than 250 people were killed and damage of 1.5 billions dollars.
6. Hurricane Donna
In 1960 Hurricane Donna plowed into the Florida Keys, and then continued on to Fort Myers before landing in North Carolina. It went all the way up to New England before losing strength. More than 364 people were killed in the storm as well as $900 million in damage.
7. Hurricane Charley
Another whopper whirlwind, which Florida took the brunt of once again. Hurricane Charley occurred in 2004, landing in Charlotte Harbor, Florida. Charley had 150 mile an hour winds, killed 35 people, and caused 14 billion dollars in damage. This one really surprised weather forecasters, as it moved in an such unpredictable way.
8. Hurricane Hugo
While only a Category 4, Hurricane Hugo killed 34 people and caused over 100,00 to be homeless. This was one of the more destructive hurricanes the US has ever suffered through. It caused 7 billion dollars (1989 prices) worth of damage. Landing in South Carolina it took many years to rebuilt.
9. Hurricane Celia
In 1970 hurricane Celia hit Texas, and did no less than 450 billion dollars worth of damage. 11 people were killed, more than 9,000 homes were completely destroyed, and tens of thousands of buildings suffering from extensive damage.
10. Hurricane Eloise
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24 Responses to “Top 10 Most Devastating Hurricanes in American History – updated article with additional information”
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I was extremely happy to find this blog.Thanks for having the page! Im sure that it will become extremely popular.September 12th, 2010 at 9:44 am
hey, nice blog…really like it and added to bookmarks. keep up with good workSeptember 10th, 2010 at 9:04 pm
I know of many people who have disregarded orders to evacuate. Its almost like they know better than experts. If i lived in a coastal or low-lying area, that is in an area that floods frequently, i would get out if i knew a big hurricane was about to hit.September 9th, 2010 at 11:20 am
Many people in hurricane zones do not take obvious steps.
The advice is to:
Develop a Family Plan
Create a Disaster Supply Kit
Have a Place to Go
Secure your Home
The problem is that too many people do not think about these things. More personal responsibility is needed.September 9th, 2010 at 11:18 am
Remember that people though they were more protected than they were. The flood protection system falied miserably. Experts agree that is it had been built properly then the residents of the city would have been much better protected. Since the disaster, a lot of money has gone into research, to prevent a repeat in the future.September 7th, 2010 at 10:15 am
Its ridiculous that in this modern society, with all the warming systems that are in place, that so many people still killed. Could it be partly due to the response of people on living there? Im sure they knew what was coming, but they did not take the appropiate measures to protect themselvesSeptember 7th, 2010 at 10:13 am
Katrina probably would have been the most devastaing hurricane in US history is it had happened in the early 1900’s – when there were no emergency procedures as such and no way to warn people of what is coming.September 7th, 2010 at 10:11 am
I discovered these details usefull.September 6th, 2010 at 2:48 am
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Hey guys… I’m always psyched whenever I see a top ten list. (It has to go back to David Letterman when I was a kid!) Anyway, it was a good read and thanks for making the effort to put it together. Keep up the great work!September 5th, 2010 at 10:02 pm
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Why are the 1900 Galveston Hurricane and the Okeechobee Hurricane of 1928 not listed? You need to do better research. The 1900 Galveston Hurricane is the worst natural disaster in American History.August 29th, 2010 at 1:53 pm
Keep up the good work. Everyone is opened to there opinion. Excellent blog here, i am still reading 🙂August 17th, 2010 at 3:20 pm
Fantastic blog! I really love how it’s easy on my eyes as well as the data are well written. I am wondering how I can be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your rss feed which really should do the trick! Have a nice day!August 17th, 2010 at 7:31 am
It is very interesting article and quite impressive too.I like the way you describe all the things and the examples.Thanks …July 31st, 2010 at 7:26 pm
tough to compare disaster with old ones. I think its fair to only compare Hurricanes with in a 20 year period. In 20years a deadlier Hurricane could be coming yet maybe our technology will save us and only 100 die! We can’t compare with technology of today to 1928. If they had the same technology in 1928 im sure that figure would be a quater. Road networks are better, health, quicker response by rescue teams and increased protection has saved lives in Katrina’s argument. Take that away im sure we would be see Katrina’s death toll near 10000+April 27th, 2010 at 11:42 am
The Hurricane of 1928 ranks after Galveston and it isn’t on the list either! Katrina has some 1,000 people die and the 1928 storm has an estimated death count of anywhere from 3,000-5,000.April 17th, 2010 at 3:12 am
Katrina was NOT the most devastating hurricanes in American history. You need to check your facts. September 8, 1900 Galveston, Texas was not only the most devastating hurricane in America, but it was and is still America’s deadliest natural disaster ever.October 30th, 2009 at 12:09 pm